20 June 2014

Kenya: I've Accepted Defeat, Raila Tells Uhuru in Letter

Nairobi — CORD leader Raila Odinga has written an open letter to President Uhuru Kenyatta assuring him that he is not out to interfere with his tenure after accepting defeat in the 2013 General Election.

The former Prime Minister says CORD is only exercising its constitutional mandate of oversight, and that it will continue to uphold peace across the country.

"Last year after the Supreme Court heard and determined my petition challenging the presidential elections, I accepted the verdict. I did that as a true believer in constitutionalism and the rule of law and declared that Kenya is greater than any one of us," he said.

"However, since then, Kenya has been faced with major problems and challenges that may tear the country apart if not immediately addressed. I have chosen the path of dialogue as the lawful and sensible way of dealing with what the country faces today."

"There are obvious signs that if we do not confront these problems and challenges now through a structured process of national dialogue then the road to peace will be thorny and difficult."

In the letter, Odinga has reiterated that his planned rallies ahead of Saba Saba are peaceful and only aimed at highlighting what he describes as genuine concerns on issues affecting Kenyans.

He has outlined five key agenda issues he wants discussed in a national dialogue - which include national unity, devolution, corruption, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission and national security.

On national unity, the former Prime Minister said; "recruitment in State organs must reflect the diversity of the Kenyan people in equitable proportions. No single community, group or coalition should establish hegemony over the public service or the distribution of State resources."

"These are the standards and the imperatives set by the Constitution of the Republic of Kenya. Less than a year after the last General Election, several communities are feeling excluded on the basis of ethnicity, identity or gender."

While noting corruption as a major challenge, Odinga says; "despite promises made that corruption will be eradicated, the menace has resurrected vigorously and has compromised flagship projects of Vision 2030 and new development initiatives."

He said most of Jubilee projects like the Standard Gauge Railway have been shrouded by a lot of unanswered questions.

On issues of devolution, Odinga says the funds allocated to the counties must be based on the audited accounts of the financial year immediately preceding the current financial year.

"The county governments have lost nearly Sh600 billion in 2012/2013 and 2013/2014 because the National Treasury has used outdated accounts for the purposes of sharing of revenue between the national government and the county governments," he argues.

Security being critical to the country, he notes that "people have lost confidence in our national security system and feel disappointed with the incompetent leadership at the head of our security and intelligence organs."

"Questions are also being raised about our military operation in Somalia not in terms of its validity or legitimacy but in terms of longevity and lack of clear operational objectives."

Odinga also assured the President that he holds no grudge against the Jubilee administration and that he will continue fighting for the rights of Kenyans.

"I want to assure your Excellency that we hold no grudges nor do we want to interfere with your tenure and that of the jubilee administration as the President and the Government of the Republic of Kenya," his letter reads.

"We have been holding very peaceful rallies as a way, under the Constitution, of engaging the people in an open and public discourse on how we can make Kenya great and prosperous; a free nation, a people liberated and an independent country in the international community of nations."

To show the need of the dialogue, Odinga addressing the president as 'my brother' referred him to read the words of Prophet Isaiah found in Chapter 1, Verse 18 (King James Version)."

"Come now, and let us reason together, said the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land. But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it."

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