National Super Alliance (Nasa) leaders on Saturday affirmed that they are ready for the October 17 repeat presidential election.
Addressing a charged crowd at the funeral of Kanduyi MP Wafula Wamunyinyi’s father Mathew Wafula at Buema village in Bungoma County, the Nasa team, however, demanded that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) first puts its house in order to ensure a free and fair poll.
Nasa presidential candidate Raila Odinga said that they will not go to the election if the commission does not replace some commissioners and also appoint another firm to print the election materials. Al Ghurair Group printed the ballot papers used on August 8.
The ceremony was momentarily disrupted after angry mourners heckled and roughed up two MPs who are supporting President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election.
Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa (Jubilee) and his Bumula counterpart Mwambu Mabonga (Independent) had a rough time addressing the crowd that was chanting anti-Jubilee slogans.
Things got out of hand after an unapologetic Mr Barasa told the youths that their families will never produce leaders if they disrespect elected MPs.
“Disrespecting elected leaders will lead to a curse and you might never produce one in your entire generation,” he said.
His sentiments did not go down well with the mourners who heckled, accosted and roughed him up.
Nasa leaders and their security detail intervened after which order was restored.
At some point, Tongaren MP Eseli Simiyu and some youths tried to get Mr Mwambu to go to the dais and declare his stand on the presidential election but he remained calm in his seat.
“Come forward and talk to mourners. They want to get your stand on whether you support Nasa or Jubilee,” said Dr Simiyu.
Things got out of hand when the rowdy youths surged towards the VIP tents ostensibly to eject the two Jubilee leaders from the venue.
It was Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula and Mr Wamunyinyi who saved the situation.
“Let us forgive them, I know they now understand that Jubilee has got no place in this region. Let us give them time to think for themselves if they will support the right cause,” said Mr Wetang’ula.
Addressing the mourners, Mr Odinga said Nasa will push for the removal of IEBC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ezra Chiloba whom he accused of working with Jubilee.
“I have some Luhya leaders crying foul that we in Nasa are targeting their own, we are not interested in fighting people from certain communities, we are looking at the sins that person committed, there is glaring evidence that Chiloba has been going to bed with Jubilee leaders,” he said.
The former premier noted that Nasa was not fighting for the removal of Mr Chiloba and eight other IEBC officials because of their tribe but because they bungled the August 8 General Election in favour of Jubilee.
“We want partisan IEBC officials removed, PROs and Returning Officers shuffled from their current stations so that we can accept that the next presidential election will be free and fair,” he said.
He called on President Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto to stop undermining the Judiciary to force judges to be submissive to them.
“Both IEBC and the Judiciary are independent bodies which should be respected and not interfered with. Let them perform their duties provided they are doing the right thing,” he said.
On his part, Mr Odinga’s running mate Kalonzo Musyoka said that peace will prevail if the repeat election is free and fair.
“Let Jubilee leaders understand that they were not elected by majority Kenyans but they were computer generated; we need real leaders that will be accepted by Kenyans through a free and fair election for peace to prevail,” he said.
He said that Jubilee leaders were targeting Western and Eastern regions to get more votes by enticing leaders with goodies and visits to State House.
“They are trying to coerce our leaders to support them but let me tell you even in Ukambani those people who went to State House are regretting why they did so.
“Western and Eastern regions are locked in Nasa and will vote for its presidential candidate,” said Mr Musyoka.
Nasa co-principals Musalia Mudavadi and Mr Wetang’ula asked the Luhya community to rally behind Mr Odinga.
“We want you people to move out in large numbers and vote for Raila, what we want is change, Bungoma has never been Jubilee home turf, our people are in Nasa and will vote for their preferred leader,” said Mr Wetang’ula.
Mr Mudavadi challenged IEBC officials to be neutral if they want Nasa to participate in the repeat race, warning that they will not accept to be led by corrupt individuals who will work with Jubilee to undermine Nasa.
“We want the France-based international organisation that provided the election servers to be kicked out because it refused to open its servers even after the Supreme Court order and went ahead to claim that it did a wonderful job,” he said.
Electoral agency chairman to outline the roles of the Project Team and those of the Secretariat in repeat presidential polls.