I helped Issack Hassan land IEBC job – Raila Odinga

Raila Odinga addressing CORD supporters in Garissa on Saturday. [Photo/Courtesy]

CORD leader Raila Odinga has admitted to having had a hand in the appointment of Issack Hassan to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

Speaking in Garissa on Saturday, Raila said that he had fronted Mr Hassan’s name for the appointment of the defunct Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) and had a hand in his current appointment as the chair of the IEBC.

The CORD leader stated that his current push for the removal of Hassan and his team from the IEBC is not personal, adding that their drive is motivated by the desire to have a free and fair election in 2017.

“We have a strong team that is ready to face and defeat Jubilee in 2017, we however need a level playing ground and we are sure Hassan-led team cannot deliver that; hence our push for their removal from office,” he said.

Raila further stated that the coalition would resume anti-IEBC protests on Monday as they surge on with their push to have the electoral agency overhauled, setting the stage for another battle between CORD supporters and the police.

Already, Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet has rejected CORD’s notification to stage the protests saying the demonstrations have been outlawed by the courts.

“We wish to inform that the notification cannot be honoured on account of valid orders issued by the High Court of Kenya on 29th April 2016, with two further extensions issued on 6th May 2016 and on 26th may 2016, barring any demonstrations against IEBC. Consequently, any violations against the Orders will be dealt with as required by the law,” said Boinnet.

In a letter, CORD, through its Chief Executive Officer Norman Magaya, had notified Nairobi City County Commander Japheth Koome of a planned demonstration on Monday to push for the removal of IEBC commissioners.

CORD co-principal and Ford Kenya party leader Moses Wetangula has however defended their move to protest saying the court gave them permission to do so.

Wetangula said that the court had only asked them to carry out the protests in a peaceful manner following a petition by five Jubilee MPs seeking to stop their anti-IEBC demos.

Raila in his speech on Saturday echoed Wetangula’s sentiments saying their efforts to have the electoral agency overhauled will not be halted by teargas.

Last week, CORD had claimed that they had reached an agreement with President Uhuru Kenyatta to form a 10-member team that would lead the process of reforming IEBC, only for the president to rescind his decision in his Madaraka Day speech.

The coalition has however gone ahead to appoint five legislators (Siaya Senator James Orengo and his Machakos counterpart Johnson Muthama, Mombasa Woman representative Mishi Kombo, Tongaren MP Eseli Simiyu and Suna East MP Junet Mohammed) to represent them in the dialogue process and warned that they would resume their weekly protests if Jubilee does not release their list by Monday.

Despite the heightening pressure, President Kenyatta has insisted that he has no powers to remove the commissioners from office calling on CORD to go through parliament in pushing for their demand.

The opposition coalition wants IEBC commissioners removed due to their apparent links to the illegal procurement of BVR kits in the run-up to the 2013 elections and alleged plan to rig the 2017 elections in favour of Uhuru Kenyatta, allegations that the commission through its chair Issack Hassan has refuted.

The opposition coalition has so far made four attempts to march to IEBC offices at Anniversary Towers and forcefully evict the commissioners from office, all of which were thwarted by police who used teargas and water cannons to disperse them.



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Story By Benjamin Wafula
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