Supporters of the National Super Alliance are planning a major demo at the United Nations headquarters in New York on Saturday.
The protests, the organisers say, are aimed at bringing to the attention of the international community, events unfolding in Kenya since the annulment of the August 8 presidential election.
Speaking to the Nation in Philadelphia, the organisers—Dr George Omburo (US Diaspora chairman), Amos Atonga and Debra Akello— said the goings-on in Kenya since the annulment of the poll was cause for alarm and the international community needed to pay special attention as the country prepares for a repeat of the poll.
“Right now you are seeing the government withdraw security details for Mr Raila Odinga and his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka, unleashing Mungiki on innocent demonstrators in the streets of Nairobi and the president himself vilifying and trying to undermine the Judiciary because they ruled against him,” they said in a statement.
“The situation in Kenya right now as we speak is very tense and fragile. That’s why we are having events this coming Saturday in New York and New Jersey to bring attention to these issues while celebrating the historical ruling that has made Kenya a harbinger of democracy in Africa.”
They said the demos at the UN would begin at 11am and end in the afternoon with an international press conference.
After New York, they said they would move to New Jersey for the Nasa Diaspora USA Party to be held at Ukranian Hall, 1700 Brooks Blvd, Hillsborough, NJ 08844, from 7pm to 2am.
They said the event in the evening was also to act as a fundraiser for Nasa campaigns.
Meanwhile, Nasa USA supporters are calling on the Kenyan government to immediately re-instate the security detail of Mr Odinga and Mr Musyoka.
In a statement to the Nation, Mr Odinga’s supporters based in the US and Canada said if anything untoward happened to the opposition leader, President Kenyatta’s administration would be held accountable.
“A presidential candidate is a president in waiting, he must be protected. That is why we, members of Nasa USA condemn in the strongest terms possible this desperate and ignorant action by the Jubilee administration to withdraw security detail of a leading Kenyan presidential candidate, Mr Raila Odinga and his running mate Mr Kalonzo Musyoka,” the statement signed by Mr Jack Ambuka of New Jersey read in part.
Nasa supporters said Mr Odinga, as a presidential candidate, was no longer running for office as a private citizen or like any other candidates who may need to make private security arrangements.
Rather, they said, he was doing so on behalf of the entire country.
They said Mr Odinga was a national project that must be protected by national security instruments.
“Protecting a presidential candidate is not a new phenomenon that is exclusive to Kenya. It is a precedent set and adhered to by countries in the whole world. Unfortunately, in Kenya, virtually every government decision is made either at the alter of tribe or on the pulpit of political chicanery. No decision is based on objectivity or pragmatic approach. By withdrawing security detail of Raila Odinga and his running mate, the government is in essence telling the duo that it doesn’t care what happened to them even if they get assassinated.” Mr Ambuka said.
“In fact, withdrawing security is equivalent to inviting and preparing the ground for assassins to carry out their evil responsibility with less or no difficulties at all.”
Mr Odinga’s Mr Musyoka’s bodyguards were withdrawn on Monday evening.
The officers were recalled to General Service Unit headquarters in Nairobi on the eve of planned demos against the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
The demos went on as planned in Nairobi and Kisumu but Mr Odinga, Mr Musyoka and other top officials of the Nasa coalition did not participate.
Mr Odinga said the move by the government to deny him state protection was part of a wider scheme to cause harm to opposition leaders.
The opposition leaders’ supporters asked President Kenyatta in his capacity as the commander-in-chief of the armed forces to rescind the decision immediately and order reinstatement of Mr Odinga’s and Mr Musyoka’s security detail.
“God forbid something happens to Raila and or Kalonzo, Jubilee administration will bear the blame,” they said in a statement.
Protesters march to IEBC offices in Nairobi and Kisumu.