ODM supporters in Kisumu have thwarted protests by some youth who were planning to hold demonstrations to compel Nasa principals to grant its presidential candidate Raila Odinga two terms if he wins on August 8.
According to the coalition’s agreement signed by the five principals, Mr Odinga is expected to serve only one five-year term if he wins.
On Thursday, the close to 50 youth had gathered next to Awuori House in Kisumu where they wore T-shirts labelled “10 Million Strong, Raila Miaka Kumi” and carried placards with similar writings.
But their attempts to move along the streets with the placards were thwarted when ODM supporters swung into action, beating them before they confiscated the merchandise and set them ablaze.
One of the youths cornered with the items said members of the group received Sh500 each “from the organisers to wear the T-shirts and caps and go to the streets.”
ODM leaders in Kisumu displayed some of the materials confiscated from the youths at a press conference held at Park View Hotel, linking Jubilee to the scheme.
The leaders included nominated MP Oburu Oginga, Nasa Nyanza presidential campaign team co-chairman, Kisumu senator Anyang’ Nyong’o, Kisumu Deputy Governor Ruth Odinga, MPs Fred Outa (Nyando), Aduma Owuor (Nyakach)and Richard Ogendo, and Market Milimani MCA candidate Seth Ochieng’.
“We got information over the plot by some two senior Jubilee leaders from this region over the plans to have the protests to cause discord among Nasa principals and their supporters.
“We know Jubilee is desperate but we want to tell them that no amount of propaganda will derail our course,” Dr Oginga said.
He said Jubilee organised and financed the protests to show that Mr Odinga is not willing to go for one term as per the coalition’s agreement signed among the five member parties.
The parties include Mr Odinga’s ODM, Musalia Mudavadi’s Amani National Congress, Kalonzo Musyoka’s Wiper, Moses Wetang’ula’s Ford Kenya, and Chama cha Mashinani, led by Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto.
Prof Nyong’o said there were concerted efforts “to create panic and reduce the number of voters who will come out to vote for Raila.”
Mr Outa warned Jubilee against any attempts to cause friction among Nasa supporters.
“We are asking our people to desist from putting on such T-shirts because we know their motives. We want to warn them to stop such unfortunate tactics because our supporters are enlightened enough to know the work of Jubilee,” Mr Outa said.
But Jubilee leaders, including Central Nyanza coordinator Steve Mwanga and Kisumu County coordinator Steve Biko, denied claims the party was involved in the planned protests.
Mr Mwanga said, “Nasa needs to put its house in order. They should address their own sibling rivalry before they link Jubilee to their problems.”
Mr Biko termed the ODM statements as unfortunate and out of order.
“We have pledged to ensure peaceful campaigns devoid of propaganda and it is in bad taste for ODM to link us to such acts,” Mr Biko said.