23 November 2017

Kenya: Raila Odinga Returns After 4-Day Break in Zanzibar

National Super Alliance (Nasa) leader Raila Odinga jetted back in the country on Wednesday evening after a four-day break off the coast of mainland Tanzania in Zanzibar.

Mr Odinga's return from Zanzibar was confirmed by his spokesman Dennis Onyango as well as Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) communications director Philip Etale.


While details of what Mr Odinga was doing in Zanzibar remain scanty, photos posted in social media show he was on holiday.

Mr Odinga had on Friday last week arrived to a chaotic welcome at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport following a 10-day trip in the US.

After the chaos, which involved running battles with the police, teargas, live bullets, burnt cars and left five dead, Mr Odinga flew to Zanzibar due what his long-time adviser Salim Lone said was the unrest in Kenya.

During the seven-hour drive from JKIA to a rally in Kibra, Mr Odinga's car was hit by a teargas canister before the windscreen was hit by a bullet-- a narrative the police later disputed, saying they did not use live bullets in their battle against protesters.

It is not clear what will be Mr Odinga's schedule after his return, but he comes just two days after the High Court in Kitui dealt a blow to his idea of the people's assembly.

The court locked the 47 devolved Houses from discussing and adopting the motion.


Mr Odinga has painted the people's assembly-- which brings together elected leaders, civil society groups, religious leaders and ordinary Kenyans-- as a way for Kenyans to exercise their sovereign power directly, instead of delegating it to elected leaders.

So far, 12 of the 19 Nasa-leaning assemblies have passed the motion to create the assemblies.

The assembly seeks to have the counties refuse to recognise President Uhuru Kenyatta's presidency and demand a fresh election under a new electoral commission.

The end game of the assemblies, Nasa said, will be a convention in Nairobi that will lead to constitutional changes on, among others, the structure of government and the electoral system.


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