Raila Odinga asks Nasa leaders to take charge of anti-IEBC demos

National Super Alliance (Nasa) supporters are today expected to continue with their street protests to push for reforms at the electoral commission.

The opposition alliance, led by Raila Odinga, wants systems and personnel changes effected at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) before repeat presidential election is held on October 26.

12 OFFICIALS

They want 11 individuals, including IEBC CEO Ezra Chiloba, removed from office for allegedly bundling August 8 General Election.

They also want IEBC to drop its Dubai-based ballots printer Al-Ghurair and French technology supplier OT-Morpho.

The demos resume after Mr Odinga asked leaders from Kisumu County to hold “structured demonstrations” to avoid violence and looting as witnessed last week.

The Nasa presidential candidate asked the leaders to steward their supporters from the point of convergence until they reach the IEBC offices and later herd them out of the central business district.

MEETING

Mr Odinga, in a closed door meeting held on Sunday night at Capitol Hill Hotel Kisian, appeared angered by what transpired during Friday demos that saw Tumaini Supermarket broken into and looted.

Leaders who attended the meeting included MPs Onyango K’oyoo (Muhoroni), Mr Aduma Owuor (Nyakach), Mr Jared Okello (Nyando), Dr James Nyikal (Seme) and Kisumu Central’s Fred Ouda.

Also in the meeting was Nyanza presidential campaign team, Kisumu County leaders led by Deputy Governor Mathews Owili, Kisumu Chief of Protocol Bob Madanje and Kondele Ward Representative Joachim Oketch.

The leaders had left a rally at Seme, when they were called for the meeting that lasted for about an hour.

LOOTING

Mr Okello in an interview after the meeting said Mr Odinga told them to control the protestors.

“Our party leader told us to be on the frontline during the demo and ensure we converge at one particular place when starting the demo and completing it and ensure no one is left behind to take advantage of the demo to commit crime,” said the Nyando MP.

He said the party leaders also asked them not to relent in the push for reforms in IEBC, with a possibility of scaling it up to many days in the coming weeks before the October 26 repeat election.

The first time MP said the Nasa leader asked all leaders to be present during the demo.

“The message remains ‘no reforms no elections’. We will hold the demos on three days this week and might scale it up to every day, including weekends, upon success of this week’s protests,” said Mr Okello.

TRADE

Dr Owili condemned Friday vandalism of Tumaini Supermarket, saying the incident should be treated as a crime.

“We have a clear agenda as Nasa through the street protests. We are showing our dissatisfaction with IEBC as presently constituted and want to ask the police to protect businesses as they employ our people,” Dr Owili said.

He went on: “We should not destroy our property. If you love him (Raila), don’t burn roads and destroy property.”

Mr Odinga’s call in part stressed his message on Saturday, where he reiterated that Kenyans’ journey to “Canaan”, the famed Promised Land, was unstoppable.

REFORMS

On that day, he addressed an interdenominational prayer meeting attended by US based Prophet Bernard Kibirige at St Stephens ACK Church in Kisumu on phone.

Mr Odinga said they would continue to push for reforms in the electoral commission to ensure free, fair and credible elections.

“We are determined to continue with our push for electoral reforms to ensure a level playing field for a free, fair and credible elections. With these, we must reach Canaan,” Mr Odinga said in his address to the congregation.

Prophet Kibirige said the prayers were held to call for peace and unity ahead of the repeat Kenyan elections.

Jubilee backers oppose Nasa’s push for personnel and systems changes at the IEBC, defend review of election laws.

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