NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 10 – The Wiper Democratic Movement has downplayed reports that it is being sidelined by its CORD coalition partners in the formation of a team to resolve the stalemate over the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.
This comes after CORD leader Raila Odinga announced that MPs James Orengo and Eseli Simiyu will represent CORD in an initial four-member team to iron out outstanding issues before they name representatives to the Joint Select Committee.
Party Chairman David Musila explained the Wiper representative in the talks Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama was not in the city during Friday’s announcement but will join the team when he returns.
“You will know that we cannot be sidelined when the final names are announced. It is unthinkable to claim that we are being sidelined because ODM and Wiper are chief architects of CORD. How do you remove the owner of the house from his own house?” he asked.
The Kitui Senator said the principals will meet next week for their weekly anti-IEBC demonstration which said would be largely influenced by the failure of the two parties to agree.
“The coalition is going to meet early next week to now go through the names that the parties have given and then we will come out with a list that is acceptable to the coalition. I know there people who are trying to wedge a rift between the parties, saying party A has been isolated or telling another that it has been short-changed. but I want to tell our detractors that CORD is strong and will be stronger even as go towards the elections, watch this space,” Musila stated.
CORD has so far held five protests. At least six people died since, several people injured and property worth millions of shillings destroyed.
Yet another round demonstrations to push for the reconstitution of the IEBC is expected on Monday and Thursday next week after CORD secretariat CEO Norman Magaya, wrote to Nairobi County Police Commander Japheth Koome asking him to “organise necessary security arrangements to ensure the safety of all leaders and wananchi who will participate in the demonstration.”
On Thursday, Jubilee selected 11 of its members to represent the coalition’s proposals in the Joint Select Committee but CORD has thrown a spanner in the works demanding a sub-committee first iron out contentious issues.
CORD leader and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga announced that the party had formed a team of four legislators to work on controversial issues on IEBC within 24 hours.
“There has not been any suggestion or agreement on this four-member committee,” Jubilee responded.
The two parties were in agreement that Speakers of the National Assembly and the Senate will not be involved in the discussions of the select committee.