The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Cord Issues Fresh Saba Saba Demands

CORD yesterday made fresh and detailed demands and urged religious leaders nationwide to pray for their Saba Saba rally due for Monday. Previously, Cord only demanded talks on devolution, insecurity, unemployment and the IEBC.

But yesterday the Opposition said the Government was practicing nepotism and hiring unqualified people, leaving out millions of qualified Kenyans, especially from small tribes. Cord leaders Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetang'ula urged the Government to publish a list of all appointments it has made since its assumed office last year.

"Recruitment in State organs has manifestly failed to reflect the diversity of the Kenyan people. As a result, today, entire communities feel excluded from participating in the management of national affairs on the basis of ethnicity, gender and other forms of identity," said Cord in a statement.

Cord demanded that the government also publishes a list of all senior public officers, indicating their ethnicity, region and gender from, the position of Director upward, who have been sacked or transferred.

And Cord added: "We demand a detailed activity plan of all national government development projects in every County, indicating the nature of activity and the amounts of money allocated to these activities.

"Details must include all significant national infrastructural development projects, indicating the regions to benefit and amounts allocated.

"On a County-by County basis, the budgets allocated to farmer and cooperative subsidies with a clear indication of the intended beneficiaries.

"A detailed enumeration, listing beneficiaries by name and region, of all direct cash transfer and social spending schemes across the country, including the social empowerment funds". The coalition also announced that they will hold their final round of rallies this weekend.

"Monday's rally is a culmination of one month of public consultations among the people of Kenya and what ails our nation and what needs to be done to rectify the condition," said Wetang'ula yesterday.

In a dress rehearsal for the Saba Saba rally, Cord is today expected host a series of rallies in parts of Nyanya and Western regions that will climax in the mega rally on Monday.

This morning, Raila, Kalonzo and Wetang'ula are expected to address a public rally in Gusii Stadium then, in the afternoon, they will be in Ugunja, Siaya County

On Saturday, Cord will address another rally in Kisumu and on Sunday they will be in Machakos County before holding what they described as a major rally in Nairobi.

Yesterday, Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero said Cord was free to use the Uhuru Park grounds because they booked the venue first.

But Jubillee leaders Moses Kuria and Ferdinand Waititu insisted yesterday they too had booked the grounds and went ahead to inspect the Park. "We have come to inspect the venue of our meeting; we are the sponsors of the Mavuno youth Congress. We applied and paid for the venue and now we are set to hold our peaceful rally on Monday," Waititu said.

It remained unclear whether the documents Waititu distributed to support his claim were official, considering that some did not the official City Hall stamp, while others bore the old and now-defunct "City Council" logo.

It was also not easy to establish why the Mavuno youth paid Sh50,000 yet the revised rates are Sh250,000, the fee Cord paid and were receipted for.

Reacting to allegations by politicians that the venue had been booked by Mavuno Youth Congress at the behest of TNA politicians, the group's chairman, Oscar Igaida, yesterday denied that it was reserved by politicians.

"Mavuno is a non-political youth group whose members are drawn from all political parties. Our aim is to preach peace among the youth in an environment that has already been polarised by politicians.

"Politicians should exercise restraint in their utterances because they are causing a lot of anxiety as evident in what is going on in Naivasha and other parts of the country. Those claiming the venue has been booked by Jubilee or TNA are not members of Mavuno Youth Congress," Igaida said.

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