Plans are underway to swear in Nasa leader Raila Odinga on January 30, the Star can report. Yesterday, NASA announced it will next week name members of its Assumption of Office Committee to plan the ceremony.
The People’s Assembly organizing committee said a team has been identified and is currently working round the clock to fine-tune the oath plans that will kick-start the opposition’s broad agenda of entrenching electoral reforms in the country.
Confidential sources told the Star that NASA has settled on the date of the controversial oath ceremony, which the State last month warned is treasonous and punishable by death.
“An Assumption of Office Committee, which is already in place and working will be unveiled in the coming days, and that Committee will be keeping you informed,” said ODM Executive Director Oduor Ong’wen, also a member of the organising committee.
The committee is expected to have representation from the former eight provinces.
The announcement comes quick on the heels of Raila’s New Year vow to proceed with the swearing, and days after he returned from a secret retreat with his strategy team at the Coast.
Attorney General Githu Muigai last month warned that NASA will be violating Article 3(2) of the Constitution, obligating everyone to uphold and respect the Constitution.
The sub section reads: “Any attempt to establish a government otherwise than in the compliance with this constitution is unlawful.”
It is not clear if the swearing in will be followed by the establishment of a parallel government. Renowned economist David Ndii who is also the brain behind the People’s Assemblies concept adamantly said Raila’s swearing-in is on steady course and the ceremony will ‘be the biggest event that Kenya has seen since independence’.
“The country we have now is not working, we must reconstitute Kenya afresh,” Ndii vowed yesterday.
The controversial economist laughed off arguments by critics that Raila’s oath will be inconsequential given that President Uhuru Kenyatta already has all the instruments of power.
Ndii said real power does not reside in instruments but in the people who he claimed are firmly behind the NASA leader.
“What power do you have if people turned their back on you at Kasarani stadium?” posed Ndii.
In a bid to build momentum for the event, NASA has lined a number of People’s Assembly conventions across the country this month that will reportedly culminate in a major delegates conference in Nairobi, where the NASA leaders will finally be sworn-in.
Raila has maintained he beat Uhuru fair and square on August 8 and accused the electoral commission of conspiring with Jubilee to cheat him of victory.
Also read : NASA plans retreat to finalise on Raila’s swearing-in
NASA will use the August results to swear in Raila.
Raila withdrew form the October 26 presidential rerun that Uhuru won by 98 per cent of the votes after the Supreme Court nullified the August 8 results it described as ‘full of irregularities and illegalities’.
On Sunday, the NASA team of Raila, Kalonzo, Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetangula will head to Kakamega for the second People’s Assembly convention.
The first was held in Kilifi on December 17.
“We head to Western Kenya to continue with people-driven initiative to ensure electoral justice and self-determination in our country,” said Oduor Ong’wen, the ODM Executive Director.
He said the other regions will convene similar forums in the course of the month. “The end result will be the inaugural National People’s Convention at a date the people themselves shall decide.”
NASA will then head to Kalonzo’s backyard of Machakos on January 13 and before moving on to Narok on January 24 for a similar exercise.
The team is also set to hold two more conventions in Migori and Kisii before the final national assembly in Nairobi on January 30.
Already 15 county assemblies have passed People’s assembly motions, which among other things root for non-recognition of Uhuru’s presidency.
This is despite a Kitui court late last year temporarily stopping adoptions of NASA’s People’s Assembly motions.
Siaya, Vihiga, Kakamega, Homa Bay, Busia, Bungoma, Migori, Kisumu, Mombasa, Kitui, Makueni, Kilifi, Kwale, Machakos and Mandera are some of the counties that have passed NASA’s motion.
The assembly is part of NASA’s multi-pronged strategy to end President Uhuru Kenyatta rule.
The government has already threatened to surcharge counties that have passed the People’s Assembly motion, terming it misappropriation of public resources.
Raila’s oath had been postponed twice, earning the opposition chief scathing criticism from his supporters who have loudly expressed unease with the long wait.
The NASA leaders were initially set to take oath on the same day President Uhuru Kenyatta was being sworn-in on November 28.
This was later pushed to December 12 before it was called off at the eleventh hour.
“The swearing-in of Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka as President and Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya and the launch of the People’s Assembly scheduled for Tuesday, 12 December, has been postponed to a later date,” NASA said in a statement read by co-principal and Raila’s chief Presidential Campaigner Musalia Mudavadi.
“We wish to thank the government and the people of Mombasa who had graciously offered to host the event. Thank you very much, Mombasa.”
The event was called off under intense pressure from Western envoys and some religious leaders who urged Nasa to instead give dialogue a chance.
However, Raila’s communications advisor Salim Lone separately wrote that the postponement were occasioned by Kalonzo’s absence.
The Wiper boss spent three months in Germany tending to his sick wife.
The swearing-in, according to sources, had strained relations in the opposition outfit with sections of the strategic team and principals expressing discomfort.