Wednesday, 25 June 2014

CORD Statement in Reaction to Revocation of Eldoret Consultative Rally

(as read to the media on June 25, 2014 at Orange House Nairobi)

The Coalition for Reforms and Democracy has held four extremely successful and hugely peaceful rallies since May 31st, 2014 when thousands of people turned up to welcome its leader Hon. Raila Odinga back into the country from a three-month sabbatical in the US.

The peaceful rallies have come against a background of grim predictions by government and Jubilee functionaries that they would breed chaos and insecurity in the country. In recent days, the administration has intensified its campaign against CORD rallies, blaming them wrongly for all the security failures that have afflicted the country in the last one year.

This is despite the fact that the CORD rallies are barely a month old and have all been peaceful and attended by Kenyans from across the ethnic and political divide. CORD therefore condemns in very strong terms the alleged cancellation of its rally in Eldoret slated for Friday, June 27th, 2014. We condemn the maneuvers by sections of government to cancel our planned rally planned for Ntulele, Narok on Saturday, 28th June, 2014.

We wish to clarify that we will proceed with both rallies as planned; Eldoret on Friday and Ntulele on Saturday. In the predictions of doom and chaos being fuelled by Jubilee, we see a deliberate effort by the government to pursue a self-fulfilling prophecy similar to the vile propaganda Kanu spread in the 1990s that multi-party politics would breed chaos, ethnic hatred and bloodshed.

Soon after those grim predictions, sponsored chaos emerged in parts of the country leading to ethnic cleansing and mayhem that left thousands dead and many more maimed and wounded. The country lives with the results of that dark, self-fulfilling prophecy to date. In the alleged cancellation of rallies, we also see attempts by Jubilee administration to revive the division of the country into Kanu zones and Opposition zones as Kanu in the 1990s in a bid to stop the people from exercising their freedoms as contained in our hard won constitution.

As Opposition Coalition, we stand committed to defending the constitutional right of Kenyans to free expression, association and assembly. We threaten no one and we expect no one to declare us as threats to peace or to threaten us.

It took a monumental battle to win the freedom we enjoy today. We stand ready to wage another monumental struggle to defend and sustain these freedoms. Kenyans need to remember that the struggle for the freedoms we enjoy today took more than 20 years because the leadership then tried to stop us from attaining and enjoying them.

The people who are today trying to stop us from enjoying the fruits of that long and deadly struggle are products of the system that tried to stop us from getting the freedoms. That is why they can still instruct Police to purport to be cancelling public gathering, a role that was long taken out of the hands of the police.

A famous African proverb says a fruit does not fall far from its tree. We all know the tree from which the Jubilee fruit is falling. The choice is ours, whether to surrender or soldier on as a nation. Surrender is not an option in CORD’s view.

We therefore wish to advise our supporters and all Kenyans who value freedom and peace that we will proceed with all our rallies as scheduled; beginning with Eldoret on Friday, June 27, 2014. We call upon the National Government to respect the Constitution by providing security at all these CORD events. Provision of security is the primary role of any government on earth. In fact, it is about the only reason why people agree to operate under some form of government.

The People of Kenya deserve and should demand no less.
Thank you, God bless Kenya.




Thursday, 19 June 2014

Postponement of CORD Kisii Rally

The Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) has postponed its rally that was scheduled for tomorrow (Friday 20th June 2014) at the Gusii Stadium in Kisii town to Friday 4th July 2014.

This follows a request by the local leaders who said they needed enough time to concentrate on the crucial by-election in Bonchari which will be held next Monday (23rd June 2014).

The campaigns for the ODM candidate in Bonchari Mr. Oroo Oyioka are being spearheaded by party leader Mr. Raila Odinga who arrived in Kisii town this morning.

The rest of the rallies remain as scheduled i.e. the rally at Muliro Gardens in Kakamega town this Saturday 21st June 2014 is on as scheduled. Preparations for the rally have been completed.

Philip Etale
Director of Communications –ODM.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Dates of Contrywide CORD Rallies Announced

The Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) has for the past few weeks been calling for a National Dialogue with the Jubilee administration to discuss various issues that affect the common mwananchi and the building of our Nation.

The Jubilee government is unwilling to sit down with the opposition to talk about Kenya and therefore,CORD has organized a series of consultative rallies across the country, to meet and listen to the people in the build up to the Saba Saba day.

The CORD leadership is breaking away from the tradition where politicians would get on to the microphone and address wananchi, and now, it will be the turn of wananchi to speak and address the leaders on the various issues affecting them.

The consultative forums are in accordance with article 1 of the constitution which provides that the Sovereignty lies with the people of Kenya who may exercise it either directly or through their democratically elected representatives.
Below is the programme for this month through to the main Saba Saba rally which will be held in Nairobi.



Friday 13TH June 2014 Migori Town
Sunday 15TH June 2014 Mombasa
Friday 20TH June 2014 Kisii
Saturday 21th June 2014 Kakamega
Sunday 22ND June 2014 Nakuru
Wednesday 25TH June 2014 Garissa
Friday 27TH June 2014 TBA
Saturday 28TH June 2014 Eldoret
Sunday 29TH June 2014 Narok
Friday 4TH July 2014 TBA
Saturday 5TH July 2014 Kisumu
Sunday 6TH July 2014 Machakos
Monday 7th July 2014 Nairobi

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Raila Odinga: Why National Dialogue is Necessary

By Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga

A second unfortunate assumption is that once elections are held, the victors get an omnipotence to do as they wish with the country, its resources and its people. These two assumptions have been the cause of most of Africa’s underdevelopment and, regrettably, civil strife.

Africa is too diverse to be managed by the imagination and energies of one person or group of people. The continent, and every country in it, is made up of different religions, ethnic communities, racial groups and social classes. Our demographics separate us literally over various civilisations, from the traditional African culture to the most modern digital era.

So, firstly, no leader can arrogate himself to the position of the all-knowing all-powerful deliverer who will single handedly lift the people from the Third World and place them into the First World. African leaders must work with all persons across the board if they are to deliver the promises of independence to the different and divergent populations.

Secondly, no leader can always be prepared to deal with the emergencies that arise time and again. In Africa, our lives are unpredictable and often, we are caught up in crises; sometimes from draught brought about by unforeseen rain failure, or by inter-community clashes brought about by cultural conflicts, or competition for resources, or even political differences.

The only way leaders in Africa can meet these challenges is by being willing to work with others across the board to formulate solutions to the development challenges or the emergent problems.

Those leaders who have failed to do so, and in Africa they are regrettably many, have plunged their countries in unnecessary turmoil and subjected their people to avoidable suffering. In Kenya, we have had a taste of both successes and failures.

The common political philosophy since the era of the first President Jomo Kenyatta has been that of exclusion.

Kenya’s Presidents since independence have attempted to assume the position of the omniscient and omnipotent deliverer. The result of this has always been crisis, pain and failure.

Exclusionist politics

But in one occasion, turmoil that was fomented by this exclusionist and elitist approach to leadership was avoided while in another occasion, it was reversed before the crisis could result in an all out war.

I am of course talking of the IPPG of 1997 and the Serena Talks of 2008. I must congratulate both retired Presidents Daniel arap Moi and Mwai Kibaki for their wisdom in calling for dialogue of all sectors of the society when we were faced with crisis that threatened to break the ties that bind us.

In 1997, we were in a very precarious situation indeed. The decision by Moi to agree to sit down with leaders from all sectors, including MPs, members of civil society, religious leaders and the business community helped us turn a crisis into opportunity and put the reform movement back on track, leading to the new Constitution that we eventually got in 2010.

Today, we are faced by similar crisis. Through the practice of elitist and exclusionist politics, the Jubilee Government has brought us to the position where the people are hungry, insecure, and increasingly hopeless.

Security has become the biggest problem in the country. Besides terrorism, the lives and property of all Kenyans are in danger. We are losing chunks of our nation particularly in Northern Kenya and the Coast while leaders issue statements from Nairobi.

We gave Jubilee the benefit of doubt for a year, but things only got worse. We have since come to the conclusion that the intelligence capability of the security sector has failed and the assets and equipment of the disciplined forces do not have sufficient upgrade.

The government declined to establish a judicial commission of inquiry into the circumstances surrounding and leading to the Westgate terror attack. And when the situation got out of hand, the authorities simply woke up and singled out the entire Somali community to scapegoat and persecute.

One of the unfortunate assumptions that African countries have made in adopting western democracy is that those who get elected are infused by their victory with an omniscience that enables them to formulate solutions for all the country’s problems.

Suddenly, there are memories of the Wagalla Massacre and the Mau Mau concentration camps and the pain they inflicted on our people.

Responsible leaders don’t sit back and treat such talk as idleness and ignorance. We feel such talk should be taken as a prelude to something dangerous for our country and should be addressed in an all-inclusive manner.

Kenya’s interest 

There can be no doubt that everywhere things are falling apart in our country. There are still no laptops and no one can blame this on CORD. The deployment of military in what are police operations has not improved security.

Last week, the government announced plans to deploy military to take care of traffic and security operations and they will be reporting to the Inspector General of Police. This is on top of Nyumba Kumi and reinvented provincial administration that is supposed to be taking orders directly from the President. There were also pronouncements that some security functions will be delegated to governors.

What a confused state of affairs! Instead of running and hiding, criminals are having a ball.

This is partly the reason we are saying Government has become one huge experiment without a cogent scientific formula or coherent policy.

More than 10,000 jobs have been lost in the tourist industry alone. This means more hopelessness and more ready-made terror recruits. The era of 10 per cent kickbacks is with us again. That is why leaders bicker openly in public about their communities being locked out of fat tenders.

In the meantime, prices are soaring out of the reach of ordinary Kenyans since money is being siphoned away from service delivery. The county governments that were to address the problems of our people at the grassroots and take pressure away from the National Government are not getting an equitable share of national revenue. They are being killed.

The IEBC is busy fighting for its life in criminal courts; election courts and is under probe by both state organs and non-state actors. Only Jubilee is defending it.

These do look to us like crises and we do not believe as Jubilee does, that they will simply disappear. That is why we are calling for a national dialogue so that every sector of our population can put on the table what it thinks can be done to address the problems.

We recognise that we cannot discuss everything, so we have limited ourselves to the most urgent and those that touch the most number of our people: security, implementation of devolution, cost of living, electoral reforms, eradication of corruption and equitable sharing of national revenue and public service positions.

We act in the interest of our country. The ball is in Jubilee’s court.

Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga is Kenya’s former Prime Minister and Leader of Official Opposition, CORD

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Cord Press Briefing Reiterates National Dialogue "to Stop Complete Collapse of Kenya"

Tuesday, June 3, 2014:

Am happy to be back home after a very rewarding three-month stay in the US as a guest of the Africa Presidential Centre in Boston University. It was an extremely useful experience.

The late Chinua Achebe wrote, “The world is like a mask dancing. If you want to see it well, you don't stand in one place.”

The three months across the US accorded me an opportunity to exchange views and experiences with other leaders in different sectors.

It was a chance for me to look at our world from different spots, from outside and see how we are dancing on it.

I believe that in the process, I was a good ambassador for our country, pro bono, on the international stage. I want to believe I represented our country well.

I did give many talks in several respected universities including Harvard, Columbia, Princeton, Elizabeth City in North Carolina, Morehouse in Atlanta and the University of Massachusetts. I also accompanied Madam Ida Odinga to Wellesley University where she also gave a talk.

We had meetings with the top management of these institutions.

At all meetings, we appealed strongly to them to expand admission and scholarships to young Kenyans.

I have faith that some day, some Kenyan children will benefit from my appeal to the universities.
In the meantime while I was away, I kept on following events back here at home and I realized things were getting from bad to worse.

Kenya has been going through a VERY, VERY, rough stretch compared to any time in our recent history.

We are fighting Al Shabaab abroad and at home, and the end does not seem to be in sight. I don't pretend I know all the answers but we must all be ready to look for viable solutions through some serious dialogue.

Terror has claimed too many lives already. Nobody feels safe anymore.

Our tourism is collapsing and people losing jobs in their thousands.

In the midst of all this, cost of living is forever rising and families are struggling from month end to month end.

 At a time like this, divisive politics, particularly in government and public institutions, can only worsen and not improve our situation.

To add insult to injury, corruption is everywhere. The era and culture of primitive acquisition are back in a big way.

This is adversely affecting investments, demoralizing the business community, sinking our economy into irredeemable debts and impoverishing our people today and into the future. In that regard, we must not just forget and "move on" regarding the Anglo Leasing scam.

The payment of 4.1 billion shillings to an Anglo- Leasing type company by the Jubilee government is a slap in the face of the Kenyan people who have opposed impunity and corruption for decades.
We are calling for the refund of this money that has been paid out.

We also call for the prosecution of all the civil servants, plus their business associates, who have aided and abetted this scam that has led to Kenya losing over $300 million.

Nobody should be cheated that there is any relationship between the paying of this Anglo- Leasing money and our credit rating with regard to the Eurobond.

Any such attempt to derive an association between the two is a lie.

The re-emergence of big time corruption, with inflation of contract costs and demands for kickbacks, added to the growing insecurity in our country mean no investors will me coming here.

That means no new jobs and disappearance of old ones. That means more desperation for everybody and especially our youth.


That is why we are calling for a NATIONAL DIALOGUE not to have CORD join government but to provide Kenyans with a platform to discuss and resolve the following issues:

1. Security.
2. Corruption.
3. National Unity and Constitutional inclusivity in public appointments and government.
4. The IEBC, the electoral process and credibility of elections.
5. The restructuring of the Provincial Administration and Devolution.

We expect Jubilee to treat this matter with seriousness it deserves and provide a team to engage with us

In the meantime we shall continue to consult Kenyans and discuss with them in our National rallies.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Raila Denies CORD Wants to Join Government - Reaffirms Demand for National Dialogue


Hon Raila Odinga wishes to state that the CORD coalition has never contemplated and will never contemplate, joining the Government.

CORD however will not relent on its demand for a national dialogue focusing on the most immediate and compelling problems facing the country including:

1. High cost of basic necessities.

2. Peace and security for the land and the review and reform of security organs.

3. Implementing and empowering devolution and ensuring the county governments get their equitable share of national revenue.

4. The electoral system and process and the overhaul of IEBC.

5. Eradication of corruption.

CORD’s intervention is driven by a growing feeling that the Jubilee administration has lost touch with the pains of ordinary Kenyans who struggle with house rent, bus fare, school fees and high cost of basic commodities like milk and unga.

CORD is concerned that Jubilee may be missing what the evacuation of hundreds of tourists and closure of hotels means to the many waiters, cooks, tour van drivers and tour guides who depend solely on the tourists.

CORD is convinced the fact that Jubilee is quoting figures indicating the economy is well on track further indicates a government losing touch with the struggles of its citizens.

The Opposition coalition views the fact that Jubilee is quoting figures indication the economy is on right track as further indication of loss of touch with the struggles of the voters.

If the trends continues, the next year will be as painful as the last, if not worse.

Cord is not keen on joining such an administration. It is keen on standing up for Kenyans, and it shall do that.

JUNE 1, 2014