Raila, Kalonzo’s plan for CORD as main Opposition


CORD leaders Raila, VP Musyoka and Bungoma Senator Wetangula

Mr Raila Odinga’s coalition is positioning itself to execute its role as the main Opposition party in Parliament that would keep President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta’s government in check and make it accountable.

The Raila led Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) at the same time warned that Uhuru’s coalition was raiding parties it had no pre-election agreement with, with the intent of weakening the Opposition and other groups that would stand in its way in and outside Parliament.

 A day after Raila warned of a plot by some government technocrats to kill devolution by undermining the authority of Governors, CORD also spoke of a plot to destroy the Opposition. Saying the move will be resisted at all costs; Raila’s coalition also revealed that as part of this strategy of subduing the Opposition, Jubilee had approached some of its members to work with their alliance.  The CORD senior members who met at Raila’s Karen home said as part of this agenda against the Opposition, their coalition should be left to chair key watchdog committees of the House; namely Public Accounts and the Public Investments committees.

They further resolved that that as part of their role as the official opposition they would maintain party discipline where they will be taking a common position when it comes to matters of public interest as well as governance issues.

They also agree to hold regular meetings to take stock of their parliamentary activities while at the same time ward off any attempts to lure their members to Jubilee side.

The PM said the recent events in which Jubilee coalition has been engaging in luring the fringe parties to their side should be a worrying trend to all. He explained this was a move aimed at ensuring the opposition was weak so that the government could always have its way.

Raila who was CORD presidential candidate argued the constitution provides for Opposition, a role he declared his alliance — made up of Mr Kalonzo Musyoka’s Wiper Democratic Movement and Mr Moses Wetangula’s Ford Kenya — was ready to play.

Undermine democracy

He is the one who warned against the trend where Uhuru’s Jubilee coalition was rushing to entice Opposition legislators to join them.

Raila and Kalonzo, who was his running mate, cautioned against the ongoing signing of post-election agreements, saying they undermine multi-party democracy. “Some of our people have been approached and enticed with goodies to join the other side. This is unacceptable,” Raila said. He singled out how some CORD affiliate parties rushed to sign a deal with Uhuru shortly after the presidential elections.

He added: “You saw parties such as People’s Democratic Party and Chama Cha Uzalendo) rushed to sign a post-election deal with Uhuru, yet they had signed a pact with CORD before elections. “You can’t enter a new marriage before you dissolve the current one,’’ said Raila.

Kalonzo, who was more hard-hitting, said some people were living in the past and were hell bent on retuning the country back to the “dark days of one-party dictatorship”.  “Attempts have been made to rewind the Kenyan clock to what was happening in the 1970s and 1980s during the one party state. In as much as we are not opposed to signing of post-election coalitions, we cannot allow ourselves to return to one-party state,” the VP declared. Raila was hosting CORD MPs for lunch in what was also termed as a “house-keeping session”.

The meeting was also attended by CORD Senators. The  party leaders’ remarks come only a day after the former ruling party, Kanu and Jubilee alliance announced the signing a formal deal to work together.

The announcement came only days, after Mr Musalia Mudavadi’s United Democratic Front — which was a partner of Kanu in the Amani coalition — announced it had begun talks aimed at working with the ruling coalition. The Jubilee coalition is also said to be in talks with Federal Party of Kenya, another partner of CORD.

Previously, Kalonzo had revealed that he had been approached by Jubilee and on Thursday he used the opportunity to insist that he was in CORD to stay. The VP restated that CORD had an agenda for the country, a role that he said they would implement from the opposition benches and through devolution. “We are here to affirm our very strong commitment to unity of purpose, we have a very strong team here and the three of us have resolved to work together and ensure the letter and spirit of the Constitution is adhered to,” he said in the company of Raila and Wetangula, who is now the Bungoma Senator.


The MPs told Raila and Kalonzo not to attend Uhuru and Ruto swearing ceremony on Tuesday.

They were unanimous attendance would be tantamount to endorsing a regime whose election they have disputed even after the Supreme Court upheld the Jubilee victory. The leaders argued that the leaders may also be humiliated by supporters of Uhuru and Ruto, just like it happened to former President Moi in 2002 at Uhuru Park as he handed over power to President Kibaki.

“Besides fears of humiliation, how do you attend a coronation ceremony of a rival whose election you disputed? When the Supreme Court upheld their victory, our flag-bearer expressed misgiving at the ruling. We have told them not to go,” an MP who spoke on anonymity revealed.

Raila and Kalonzo did not however respond to the request.

During the meeting, CORD also demanded the chairmanship of Budget Committee among others that play oversight role.

“One cannot expect members of the ruling party to play an oversight role on their own government,” Raila said while revealing CORD was in discussion to agree on sharing of the parliamentary posts such as those of Chief Whip and Minority Leader.

Chief Whip post has attracted Mwingi Central MP Joe Mutambo (Wiper) while that of minority leader is being contested by ODM’s Jakoyo Midiwo, Manson Nyamweya and Ababu Namwamba.

However, the meeting ended without a tentative line-up and the MPs expected to hold a retreat next week to discuss the lists of nominees.

Raila and Kalonzo told the MPs that they would provide leadership for their parties even if they were outside parliament.  They also declared they would fight for devolution from both inside and outside Parliament.-StandardKE



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