ODM leader Raila Odinga rallied Coast to reject Jubilee and President Uhuru depicting him as an undemocratic leader out to frustrate devolution, rule of law and economic development of the region.
Raila and a host of ODM leaders described the Jubilee administration as an enemy of Coast and ordinary Kenyans, accusing it of initiating ‘superficial land reforms’, failing to resolve historic injustices and refusing to establish national cohesion.
Raila described Coast as ‘an indispensable part of Kenya’ which successive governments have ‘plotted to subjugate’ by advancing policies that have rendered the region backward and insecure for decades.
The former premier who addressed thousands of supporters at Tononoka Grounds in Mombasa said squatters at the Coast must be allowed to own land and resources without preconditions from the Jubilee government.
“Coast land must be returned to Coast people, not sold to them,” Raila said and accused the President of promoting dictatorship using police, Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery and Coast Regional Coordinator Nelson Marwa.
“Recently, President Kenyatta expressed a desire to rule by the old Constitution, the one which his father used to govern this country,” Raila said and declared key reforms in the police, administration and land sectors have collapsed or stalled under Jubilee because the current leadership does not believe in reforms.
ODM governors, Mombasa’s Hassan Ali Joho, Amason Kingi of Kilifi and John Mruttu of Taita Taveta said they prefer Raila as the presidential candidate for the National Super Alliance (NASA).
Joho claimed Jubilee has conspired to impoverish and marginalise Coast by transferring key functions and operations at Mombasa port to the proposed dry port in Naivasha. He also demanded to know why squatters are required to buy their ancestral land.
Reading the ‘Coast Declaration’, Mruttu said residents will henceforth only support a presidential candidate that promotes national cohesion, supports devolution and protects the region’s natural resources and is also committed to free and fair elections.
Kingi said Jubilee has dashed the aspirations of Coast residents aroused by the promulgation of the 2010 constitution which promised comprehensive land reforms and resolving historical land injustices.
“The land chapter in the Constitution called for an investigation of all title deeds issued in Kenya since the start of the last century to establish their legality or propriety while also urging the state to acknowledge historic land injustices and commit to solve them,” Kingi said.
He added: “But instead of fulfilling these requirements, the Jubilee administration has reduced the serious matter of land reforms to issuance of title deeds after which squatters are required to buy their own land.”
“Jubilee’s solution to the Waitiki land crisis in Mombasa was a classic case of this government’s superficial understanding of land reforms and is motivated by the fact that key people in its administration are beneficiaries of illegal land allocation at the Coast. That is why they have resisted comprehensive land reforms,” Kingi said.
He said the Jubilee administration, under Mr Kenyatta, has also refused to implement the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) and the Ndungu reports because the President and his allies lack commitment to addressing past injustices.
Raila said besides shirking the rule of law and deploying police, Marwa and Nkaissery to trample on civil and human rights, the Uhuru’s government has resorted to propaganda to promote non-existent achievements.
Siaya Senator James Orengo asked the vocal Marwa to ‘concentrate on carrying Uhuru’s burdens instead of harassing elected leaders’.
Orengo accused Uhuru of trying to ‘rule outside the law ‘using civil servants such as Marwa and declared NASA will resist all attempts to stifle legitimate dissent.
Raila said: “Kenya has not changed fundamentally since 2013 when Jubilee came to power. Uhuru is only pretending to be concerned about the welfare of Kenyans by launching projects four months to the elections.”
He compared Jubilee’s activities to a night-runner who goes out in the night and falls asleep in the process while naked only to wake up in the morning.
“When a night-runner goes out naked and falls asleep before daybreak, he begins to panic when he realises he has been foiled by those looking at him,” he said.
Raila said most of Jubilee’s declared projects – roads, railways and energy – are either fictitious or procured at inflated prices in the process making the country bankrupt.