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Nasa leaders in last-minute voters drive

Opposition leaders on Sunday camped in Nyanza and Western in a last-minute attempt to mobilise residents to enlist as voters.

While ODM leader Raila Odinga made stopovers in Homa Bay and Migori counties, his Amani National Congress counterpart Musalia Mudavadi was in Kisii. Ford Kenya’s Moses Wetang’ula retreated to his Bungoma turf in an aggressive campaign to shore up the number of new voters ahead of Tuesday’s registration deadline.

In his campaign, Mr Odinga rallied residents of Kasipul Kabondo, Homa Bay County, before heading to Nyatike in Migori County.

Mr Mudavadi first made a stopover in Kisumu where he visited ailing former minister Joseph Otiende at Avenue hospital before heading to Kisii.

Mr Wetang’ula, according to Ford Kenya organising secretary Chris Mandu, met elders from Bungoma and Trans Nzoia before addressing residents in Bungoma where he urged them to register as voters.

The leaders, who form the National Super Alliance (Nasa), are keen on boosting the number of registered voters in their strongholds in a bid to kick out the Jubilee administration from power in the first round.

Speaking at Abuoye village in Homa Bay after condoling with families of the four fishermen who drowned in Sondu Miriu River, Mr Odinga pleaded with his supporters not to let him down in voter listing.

“I am facing a lion in this war and I need bows, arrows, spears and your support to kill it. I have already held it by the tail and its groaning in pain, please don’t let it attack me. Will you let it destroy me?” asked Mr Odinga in an apparent reference to Jubilee, amid roars of “No” from the crowd.

FACING HURDLES

Mr Mudavadi rubbished claims that the coalition was facing hurdles in naming its flag-bearer.

“We are not taking too long to name our flag-bearer because the IEBC (Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission) timeline to submit the names of the presidential candidates has not yet elapsed,” Mr Mudavadi said. Deputy President William Ruto has repeatedly said at rallies that the Opposition was not fit to lead because it is unable to select a flag-bearer.

Mr Mudavadi asked Kenyans to register as voters before the closure of the drive.

The ANC leader said he will back the presidential candidate who will be chosen, and that Nasa will remain united. “Nasa was my brainchild. And I midwifed it. I cannot run away from my child,” he said.
And in Sori Karungu, Migori, Mr Odinga asked the community to register en masse as voters within the remaining hours.

He was accompanied by Nyatike MP Edick Anyanga and former Energy minister Ochillo Ayacko.

ANNOUNCED END OF CORD

In Homa Bay, Mr Odinga announced the end of Cord and told his supporters to rally behind Nasa. “ODM is our house and Cord has been our home. However, we now have a new home called Nasa,” Mr Odinga said.

He pointed out that Nasa was the political vehicle that will drive Jubilee out of power. Many local leaders were caught unawares by the visit and did not attend the function.

The ODM leader said Nasa enjoyed “massive tyranny of numbers”.

“All the Kenyan communities are in Nasa … Jubilee will be defeated by a wide margin this year,” he said.

“Nasa is like River Nile … it will sweep all the Jubilee leaders so long as you register in large numbers. Make sure your neighbour is registered as a voter,” said Mr Odinga.

Reported by Justus Ochieng, Barack Oduor and Elisha Otieno

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