The National Super Alliance (NASA) has sent invitation cards for the inauguration slated for December 12, which will also be Kenya’s 54th independence day celebration.
The countdown to Opposition chief Raila Odinga’s self-declared big day began yesterday with the creation of a team to oversee his swearing in as the people’s president.
The appointment of the seven-member organising committee comes in the wake of Raila’s announcement on Tuesday that he will be sworn in as the people’s president through the people’s assemblies, which the Government as termed unconstitutional.
The digital invitation cards with Raila’s names appended do not however indicate the venue of the event. “You are invited. Come witness the swearing-in of the peoples’ president Raila Amollo Odinga on 12th December at 12 noon.
Location to be communicated after vetting of RSVP,” reads the card, which strictly admits one. Though details of the swearing-in are still scanty, NASA leaders said they are preparing for the event. It is not clear who will conduct the ceremony, its constitutional threshold, what instruments of power Raila will have, what kind of ceremony it will be and if a guard of honour will be mounted by defence forces as happens at the presidential swearing-in ceremony.
That notwithstanding, NASA has indicated the event will be graced by regional and international leaders — but their identity has also not been revealed. The coalition insists the event will be done constitutionally and will be bloodless, in seeking electoral justice in Kenya.
The committee, which also doubles up as the People’s Assembly National Steering Committee, will be led by economic strategist Dr David Ndii. Free and fair election It comes just days after President Uhuru Kenyatta started his second term in office amidst protests from NASA leadership, which has vowed not to recognise his re-election.
Making the declaration yesterday, former senators Boni Khalwale and Johnstone Muthama said the team will deliberate on and produce the road map towards the achievement of NASA’s goals through the peoples’ assemblies.
They said the assemblies will lead the country to a free and fair election or a path to secession. They also lashed out at the police over the brutality meted out on opposition supporters and demanded that culpable officers be punished accordingly. “The work of the organising committee will be to guide, facilitate and coordinate the programme of various assemblies across the country,” said Dr Khalwale, who read the statement on behalf of the NASA leadership at Okoa Kenya office in Nairobi. “It will further set up a national secretariat that will be the centre for the activities of these assemblies, among other duties.”
The former Kakamega senator told the Saturday Standard that they have set on a mission to deliver Kenyans to the “promised land”. “We have put in place an elaborate plan. There is no more accept and move on. We also want our activities to be within the law. We are aware the Government is waiting with baited breath to arrest us if our activities are unlawful,” said Khalwale.
The team comprises Dr Ndii, former Senator Judy Sijeny, Hamida Kibwana, Dr Mutakha Kangu, Oduor Ong’wen, Koitamet ole Kina and former East African Legislative Assembly MP Peter Mathuki. Already, 10 counties aligned to NASA have passed the motion to form the people’s assemblies, with the latest being Kwale County. Others are Kisumu, Homa Bay, Siaya, Busia, Kakamega, Vihiga, Kitui, Makueni and Migori counties.
Though the High Court issued conservatory orders barring the formation of the assemblies, NASA has termed the orders unconstitutional, insisting that its activities are well within the law. On November 22, Justice Lillian Mutende granted the orders suspending the formation of the assemblies until January 25 next year when the matter will be heard inter-party between the petitioner and 50 respondents in the civil suit.
Justice Mutende’s orders followed the petition filed by Counties Development Group, an NGO that sought the county assemblies and MCAs to be restrained from constituting special colleges for the appointment or election through the assemblies. “We assert that as per Article 1 of the Constitution, the right of citizens to exercise their sovereignty at the county level is not subject to supervision or veto by the national government,” said Khalwale, flanked by the committee members. “We have embarked on the final pillar of restoring democracy, just Government and legitimate leadership and the selected individuals will lead the way.”
He added: “We wish to make it clear that Kenyans cannot and shall not accept the blatant usurpation of power by the Jubilee administration and its determination and efforts to revert this nation to an authoritarian rule and the attendant abuse of our human rights.” The task force will also look into the systemic governance weaknesses that have precipitated the unfolding political impasse, said Khalwale. The leaders also took a swipe at the killing of NASA supporters who went to welcome Raila at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport when he came back from the US, saying it was unashamed abuse of power which was plain for the whole world to see.
“Their only crime was to welcome Raila upon his return from the US. The State unleashed terror on the citizens again on Tuesday 28 during President Kenyatta’s inauguration costing five more lives, including that of a seven-year-old,” said Khalwale. The boy was shot dead by a stray bullet in Pipeline, Embakasi, when NASA supporters engaged police in running battles after the opposition attempted to hold prayers for those killed at Jacaranda grounds.
Raila said in October that the people’s assemblies would be a broad-based forum consisting of elected leaders and the leadership of other sectors of society, particularly workers, civil society, religious leaders, women, youth and economic interest groups.