“You have now crossed the line and you must back off or else . . .,” that is the terse warning to CORD leader Raila Odinga from Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph ole Lenku.
Speaking to The Standard on Sunday in his office yesterday, Mr Lenku said the ongoing CORD rallies must be conducted within the law, and added that, “Raila would be held personally responsible for any bloodshed, loss of life or property arising from his political activities”.
Asked what line the former Prime Minister had crossed in relation to political mobilisation, Mr Lenku said Raila has “absolutely zero standing in law to call for a national holiday” and that “his talk about revolution is aimed at sowing the seeds for anarchy in this country. It is treason.”
Addressing the first of a series of planned CORD rallies in Migori on Friday, the former Prime Minister called on Kenyans not to report to work on July 7 but to turn out in large numbers to push the government into a national dialogue over insecurity, high cost of living, unemployment among the youth and disbandment of the electoral body.
Breach of peace
Separately, Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo warned that organisers of political rallies would take individual responsibility for the security of the people who attend.
“In case of any lawlessness during the rallies, the organisers and the leaders will individually be held responsible for such kinds of breach of peace,” said the IG yesterday in a statement read on his behalf by police spokesperson Gatiria Mboroki.
The Interior CS said there were clear constitutional avenues in Parliament, the Judiciary and the Executive through which people exercise power and sovereignty.
“Any other framework of engagement outside this order is treasonable,” said Mr Lenku.
The supreme law is very clear that “any attempt to establish a government otherwise than in compliance with this Constitution is unlawful,” he said. Quoting Article 3 of the Constitution, the CS said Raila and the entire CORD leadership individually and collectively have an obligation to respect, uphold and defend the Constitution.
He said the Executive would not give free space to CORD to overthrow a legitimately elected government through the machinations of selfish leaders whom he accused of being bankrolled by foreigners.
“Kenyans went to the polls and gave the mandate of leadership to Jubilee. Raila contested the election of President Uhuru Kenyatta in the highest court in the land and the court declared that Uhuru had won the election fair and square. What is democracy for CORD if they can’t respect the ruling of the Supreme Court?
“Kenyans fought for independence from colonial rule. They got it. Kenyans fought for a new Constitution. They got it. Kenyans were very particular in their fight for devolution in the new constitutional dispensation. They also got that. What more is it that Raila is calling Kenyans to fight for?
“It is very clear to me that all Raila wants is to be President, but he must pursue his personal ambition within the law,” said Ole Lenku.
The Interior CS claimed that CORD leaders had tucked away their children to safety but were busy inciting children of the poor to engage in subversive activities. He urged the youth to refuse to be misused by politicians who were pursuing selfish gain.
In his statement Saturday, the Inspector General of Police said leaders of political parties planning to hold rallies must inform the police of the expected number of people at their rallies for ease of security planning. He said only meetings held with advance notice to the police would be accorded proper security.
Kimaiyo said leaders must not engage in political activities that amount to incitement, hate speech name-calling or actions which “any prudent person may form an opinion that it amounts incitement”.
Ole Lenku claimed that foreigners were funding CORD rallies and warned them that, “Kenya has its owners”.
– The Standard