Capital FM (Nairobi)

7 July 2014

Kenya: Our Rally Will Be Peaceful - Raila

Photo: Jack Owuor/The Star
Opposition leader Raila Odinga (left) with President Uhuru Kenyatta share a light moment (file photo).

Nairobi — Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Monday said he had no plans to cause unrest during his Saba Saba rally at Uhuru Park.

In an interview with Capital FM News on Monday morning, Odinga said contrary to rumours that he would use the rally to push for a power sharing deal, he would take the opportunity to call for dialogue with the government over issues of concern.

When asked to comment about posts on social media that he would be sworn in as President, then march to State House for Kenya to go the Egypt way he said: "I wish it were easy as that. We went to court last year after the results were announced, the court made its verdict and we announced publicly that we don't agree but we accept the results because we respect the Constitution of our country and we moved on. We are not interested in going back to that," he explained.

"We will wait for a time when elections are held again. But that is not an issue right now. We have life to live between the last and next elections."

An insider within CORD had told Capital FM that there were two items on the party's agenda on Saba Saba Day: "To swear in Odinga as President, and then march to State House. If anyone is shot by police, then we go the Egyptian way."

But according to the former premier, CORD's rally was an expression of dissatisfaction with leadership which he complained had dwindled in terms of standards of living, unemployment and the crisis of insecurity that has left scores of people dead in a series of attacks with Mpeketoni being the most recent.

Odinga dismissed allegations that he would use the rally "as a stepping stone to ask for a power sharing deal."

"We will dismiss that as nonsense. We don't want any part in the mess that is going on. We don't want to be part of the Jubilee government. What we want is just to see certain fairness done. When we say we want inclusive government, we didn't say a coalition government - none of us ever said that. We are not saying Raila, Kalonzo, Wetangula want to be part of the government, we did not say that," he responded.

Odinga who was a member of the National Security and Advisory Council and Prime Minister when Kenya made the decision to send troops to Somalia insisted that the country should withdraw its troops to halt attacks in Kenya which he said were orchestrated by the Al Shabaab militia group.

According to him, Kenya should be thinking of bringing back its troops in the next three months since it has already achieved the initial goal of 'silencing' Al Shabaab which was the intended goal.

"I had to go to Parliament to seek approval which I did but then for a limited time - to reduce the powers of al Shabaab - then come back to Kenya. It was not supposed to be indefinite. Our troops have now become part of AMISOM without approval of Parliament, it is against the Constitution."

The High Court allowed CORD to go on with its rally on Saba Saba but gave Odinga and other top leaders a condition that they should not call for mass action.

"A judge cannot just come and tell people there was consent, so that he recorded consent order which was unconstitutional. The judge himself must satisfy himself that the order is constitutional. That ruling is unconstitutional; you cannot hold an individual responsible for what is done by other people," Odinga said.

Earlier on Monday, the party lawyers went to court again in which they asked for a reverse of the ruling in which they would be personally held accountable.

During the interview, Odinga further said his address on Saba Saba day was critical as he complained that the parliamentary arm of the government had failed in his terms referring to it as the 'rogue' Parliament which he said was incapable of addressing challenges that Kenyans were facing.

"People have been saying there are institutions created to deal with issues we are raising. This Parliament is a rouge Parliament it cannot address these issues because it is part of the problem, it is not part of the solution. Kenyans know when they see the red light," Odinga explained.

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Opposition leader Raila Odinga (left) with President  Uhuru Kenyatta share a light moment (file photo).

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