Kenya: Cord Leaders Take IEBC War to Kisumu

The Opposition campaign against the electoral commission heads to Kisumu on Thursday where Cord leaders Raila Odinga and Moses Wetang’ula will lead a prayer meeting for victims of last week’s protests.

Mr Odinga and his team are expected to address a big rally at Kisumu’s Kirembe grounds.

Three people were killed in the protests, one from Kisumu and the other two from Siaya County.

It is at the Kirembe grounds where Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (Cord) will release the names of their five-member team which will lead talks with jubilee over the push to remove the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) commissioners.

The victims’ coffins are set to be paraded at the ground.

Siaya governor Cornel Rasanga has released 12 buses to ferry people to the prayer rally.

Two of the buses will carry friends and family of the shot protesters. The county government of Siaya has also released hearses two carry bodies of the two people who were shot dead last Monday.

The remaining 10 buses will carry Cord supporters to Kirembe grounds.

Immediately after landing in Kisumu, Cord leaders are scheduled to visit the injured protesters who are admitted at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital with gunshot wounds.

This is expected to happen between 9am and 10am before they leave for the grounds for the interdenominational prayer meeting.

Kisumu central ODM Treasurer Edward Ogolla said a representative from the three families will be given time to speak before the politicians proceed with the programme.

“Survivors of the protests will also be given a chance to speak at the prayer rally, each from Migori, Kisumu, Homa Bay and Siaya,” said Mr Ogolla.

In the prayer meeting, the Opposition leaders are also expected to reveal to the members of the public what transpired at State House and the direction the coalition will take should the government fail to heed to calls for dialogue.

Team leader of the committee in charge of the rally led by the Kisumu County Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Chairman Professor Ayiecho Olweny said the event will be peaceful.

Calls for action by civil society groups, against officers who shot dead protesters in Kisumu, Siaya and Homa Bay and Migori are set to also dominate speeches during the event.

Kisumu City Residents Voice association chair, Audi Ogada who will be speaking at the event will also list the names of officers and their ranks to illustrate unfair composition of senior officers in Nyanza.

“I will show how the senior officers from the rank of OCS in Nyanza counties are from two tribes and question why this is happening,” said Mr Ogada.

Families of the victims have asked the national government to compensate them for the loss.

Mr Joseph Juma Omuombo, the father of Austin Juma, one of the youths who died in the anti- IEBC demos, stated that they have left the matter in the hands of Cord to move to court and seek compensation for the death of his son.

“As a family we will not move to court to seek for compensation from the national government because my son was killed by state officers who are charged with the responsibility of protecting Kenyans. It is impossible to win a case against the National government,” said Mr Omuombo.

Mr Omuonbo who spoke to Nation at his home in Pundo, Siaya County, maintained that the death of his son will be in vain if Cord coalition did not take legal measures against the State.

“My son worked as a boda boda rider but he was committed in ensuring that his young family was well taken care off and would occasionally provide for us,” mourned Mr Omuombo.

Source: The Nation.