National Super Alliance (NASA) leader Raila Odinga has announced his swearing-in date as the ‘people’s president’. Speaking in Kakamega County on Sunday, Raila vowed that he would be sworn in on January 30, 2018 together with Wiper Leader Kalonzo Musyoka.
The Opposition chief also dared the Government to arrest him and NASA leaders after the inauguration. “On January 30, I will be sworn in and this time it’s a real deal and anyone saying its treason let him come and arrest us. The event is not only about carrying the Bible and saying ‘I swear’, we want to make it real. We want this swearing-in process to be inclusive of all Kenyans. That’s why we are discussing before we go ahead,” said Raila.
The former Prime Minister was accompanied by NASA co-principals Musalia Mudavadi, Moses Wetang’ula and other leaders.
Kenyans on Sunday also took to Twitter using the hashtag #HappyBirthdayRaila to send happy birthday messages to Raila as he turned 73. Opposition leaders and supporters in Western region surprised the Opposition leader with a cake in celebration of his 73rd birthday, moments before the start of People’s Assembly forum in Kakamega. Raila arrived in Kakamega Sunday morning accompanied by Kalonzo Musyoka, Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang’ula among other NASA leaders for the People’s Assembly session.
On Thursday, NASA said the committee to swear in Raila and Kalonzo was already working and would be unveiled. “We are of course alive to the fact that the public is very eager to hear about the swearing in of the People’s President and Deputy President. This is on course. It will be the biggest public event that Kenya has seen since independence. An Assumption of Office Committee, which is already in place and working will be unveiled in the coming days, and that Committee will be keeping you informed,” read part of a statement by the Organising Committee of the People’s Assembly.
Addressing Kenyans on New Year’s Eve, Raila divulged that Nasa would launch fresh peaceful protests against the Jubilee Government.
“Within the first week of the New Year, we will unveil a programme for civil disobedience, peaceful protests, non-cooperation with and resistance to an illegitimate regime in addition to People’s Assemblies,” said Raila.
The Opposition chief said that Nasa’s priority would be to fight for electoral justice to ensure that the voter’s voice is heard. “After three stolen elections in a row and the standoff that has ensued, ending the culture of sham elections with pre-determined outcomes must be the nation’s priority. We must nip the new trend where people continue to vote, opposition is allowed to exist and win a few seats in parliament, but the vote does not really count,” said Raila.
He indicated electoral justice would go hand in hand with strengthening of the Judiciary and reforming the security sector. The former Prime Minister also hit out at the Government saying that police brutality would not be accepted and must end. “So far, the mindset is to steal the election, suppress and subdue protesters into submission by killing them then they will accept, forget and move on. This has been the case in all the three stolen elections,” Raila pointed out. He also warned that the only way President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Government can avoid Opposition’s fury is by agreeing to dialogue on electoral reforms.
“NASA has two ways to realize these goals. We can sit down on the negotiating table with our Jubilee opponents and discuss how to fix our electoral system, reform the executive, protect the judiciary, reform the security sector and strengthen devolution. We are ready for such dialogue as long as these issues are on the table. Alternatively, we take the issues to the people and let them decide without the involvement of the State,” Raila declared.