The Star (Nairobi)

4 July 2014

Kenya: Cord Leader 'People Resolution Talk' Is Dangerous and Could Degenerate to Chaos and Bloodshed

During Cord's build-up rallies, former Nairobi mayor George Aladwa was quoted in a section of the media saying the coalition will swear in as President its leader Raila Odinga on Saba Saba Day.

The ODM Nairobi chairman was reportedly speaking during a press conference attended by branch officials. However, apart from being summoned by the police to record a statement, the government appears less bothered by his utterances which, if proved beyond reasonable doubt, border on treason.

In political circles, Aladwa is known to be a key ally of Raila hence many believe he could not have uttered the words without the backing and blessing of Cord top leadership.

Indeed, immediately word went round that he had been apprehended, Raila and his Cord co-principal Moses Wetang'ula condemned the arrest. They said the arrest is part of a well-calculated plot by the Jubilee administration to intimidate and silence the opposition. The two said they will not be derailed in their defence of the rights of Kenyans and their quest for solutions to the myriad of problems facing them.

Though in his statement Aladwa denied uttering the words, it was wrong for Cord to come to his defence before the investigations were concluded. How do they know he never spoke the words? Does this confirm the widely-held fear that Cord is planning to use unconstitutional means to oust a legitimate government from power? Similar remarks of defiance and disregard for the rule of law dominated speeches made by leaders at rallies. Some of them argued that the time is ripe for a people's revolution to enable Kenyans take back their country.

Cord is not interested in removing cabinet secretaries, whom they described as "small people appointed and working at the behest and discretion of the President". According to Senator Wetang'ula, doing so will amount to misapplying their energy and brains.

This implies that President Uhuru Kenyatta is their main target, and that they are determined to use all means at their disposal to topple his administration. But

So far, it is difficult to tell what Raila is up to. This is because Uhuru has said he is not opposed to national dialogue to discuss the issues raised by Cord. However the talks must be held within the framework established by the constitution.

So, if Cord does not want to follow the law, it means they want to plunge the country into civil strife. Peace-loving Kenyans must resist at all cost being recruited and enrolled into this ill-advised and dangerous machinations. We must always bear in mind, leaders come and go but the country remains. Kenya is bigger than an individual.

Notably, Cord played a prominent role in all the stages that culminated in the promulgation of the new constitution, which is the most democratic and progressive in Africa. If they are being sincere and honest, why do they oppose the same law they rooted for? Raila's latest comments are worrying and hopefully the government has taken note of them. He was quoted a few days ago saying the people who will attend the Saba Saba rally will, through their representatives, pass a resolution on how to force Uhuru to give in to Cord's demands. What if they suggest to declare him President and announce that they will escort him to State House? Is he going to accept and endorse this recommendation? If he dares do so, that will automatically lead to mass killings of innocent Kenyans and wanton destruction of property. I'm sure the government will not hesitate to arrest him and charge him with treason.

During Raila's homecoming rally at Uhuru Park on May 31, chants of 'let us march and escort President Raila to State House' rent the air. Similar chants were made in rallies in other parts of the country. Reports indicate supporters were ferried to these rallies. So as he has done previously, one would expect Raila to be wiser and avoid being moved by the crowd. It is time he accepted that he lost the March 4, 2013, general election and move on.

Joseph Ndonga comments on topical issues. mutuandonga@yahoo.com.

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