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January 20, 2019

NASA's radical plan for Raila's swearing-in

NASA leader Raila Odinga lifts a Bible he was gifted by Kakamega leaders on his birthday, January 7, 2017. /Calistus Luchetu
NASA leader Raila Odinga lifts a Bible he was gifted by Kakamega leaders on his birthday, January 7, 2017. /Calistus Luchetu

NASA has drawn up radical plans in what appears to be its final push to swear in its leader, Raila Odinga, on January 30.

Its think-tanks have concluded that restless opposition adherents, smarting from the contentious October 26 poll boycott, will accept nothing short of Raila's inauguration as the People's President.

“Its clear our supporters are not ready to engage in any other fight for electoral justice before the oath. When Raila was on the Christmas holiday at the Coast, people kept running after him with the Bible to be sworn in,” sources close to Raila told the Star, requesting anonymity.

Pressure has mounted with restive supporters increasingly confronting the former Prime Minister with the Bible to be sworn in at the unlikeliest of places, including beaches at the Coast.

Raila has separately been confronted with the Bible at the Kilifi People's Assembly, at a church in his Bondo backyard and during a rally at Kakamega bus park last Sunday.

On Tuesday, the Star exclusively reported that a strategy document prepared in early December recommends that Raila form parallel government after his swearing in.

According to the strategy paper, NASA should form what it says will be a powerful national organ known as the National People’s Constituent Assembly (NPCA).

With the backing of the people’s assemblies at the county level, NPCA will be the de facto executive.

“In order for it to be effective and fully enforceable, the NPCA will need the unequivocal support of the respective county governments and county assemblies,” the strategy document reads.

The Raila oath plan has been vacated twice –– November 28 and December 12 –– amid international pressure for national dialogue.

NASA said it postponed the swearing-in to give room for dialogue in order to avoid plunging the country into deeper crisis. That dialogue has been a non-starter.

On Monday next week, the four NASA Principals –– Raila, Kalonzo Musyoka, Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetangu'la –– will meet MPs from various regions to plan for the January 30 event.

Through the MPs, NASA plans to marshal what it says will be a million man and woman at the historic Uhuru Park Grounds for the swearing in.

During his visit to Kakamega last week, Raila personally asked the Luhya community to travel to Nairobi for the swearing in ceremony.

NASA has been creating sub-committees of what it calls the 'assumption of office committee' to spearhead the swearing in plans at the grassroots.

These committees have been commissioned at the Coast and in Western Kenya.

Next Friday, NASA heads to running mate Kalonzo Musyoka's stronghold to launch the Ukambani region People Assembly.

“It [the assumption committee] is not a committee of three and four. Its a committee of hundreds, tasked with managing the preparations for that day for that particular region,”  NASA People's Assembly Secretariat head Dr Noah Akala said yesterday.

Akala said Kenyans are frustrated because they did not give their sovereignty to President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto.

“You will note that every time we have any public engagement, we meet with Kenyans who are full of enthusiasm and excitement about the prospects of swearing-in. This signifies that the people of Kenya feel that they have not given their sovereignty as they ought to through an election process,” Akala opined.

He added, “They are waiting for the opportunity to give that sovereignty to the duly elected leadership of this country in the persons of Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka.”

Sources however told the Star that despite warnings by the State, some of Raila advisors are pushing for such daring moves as occupying State Lodges in Kisumu, Kakamega and Mombasa.

A source at the centre of the inauguration plans said they are organising an elaborate ceremony where Raila will symbolically receive the “instruments of power” –– a copy of the 2010 Constitution and a presidential sword.

Dr Akala yesterday declined to comment on what exactly will happen on their big day.

“All I can disclose at this stage is that we know the Constitution, we know the law. Everything that we do on that day will be within the confines of the law and the Constitution of the Republic of Kenya,” he said.

Late last year, Attorney General Githu Muigai repeatedly warned that Raila faces death penalty and would be charged with treason if he is sworn in, presidential-style.

But Raila has laughed off the threat and asked his supporters to be patient, insisting that there must be an intricate road map that encompasses post-swearing in.

Jubilee has since gone silent on the swearing in threats with President Kenyatta saying he will not engage in any dialogue other than development.

Speaking after meeting US Ambassador Robert Godec on Monday, National Assembly Minority leader John Mbadi said Raila must not necessarily operate from State House after his swearing in.

“Who said the person who governs this country must stay in State House? Who said the person who governs this country works from Harambee House? It is just a building. The building can be moved elsewhere,” Mbadi said

But Speaking on Tuesday, Raila's former aide Miguna Miguna, now part of the National Resistance Movement, said the ODM leader has no choice on the oath.

“Raila Amolo Odinga has no option. He will be sworn it whether he likes it or not. Raila is going to be the People's President not out of his choice,” said the man who describes himself as the NRM head of operations.





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