You have no doubt heard of a people’s champion this to refer to a sportsman or woman who has excelled wonderfully in his game but has never won the coveted prize. But have you heard of a people’s president of Kenya? Going by activities in the opposition, you will sooner than later hear of it.
According to the leaks, the initial plans were to have the Nasa leader sworn in at the Coastal city of Mombasa. However, the idea was dropped by the bigwigs in the opposition legion on the basis that swearing Raila in Mombasa would equate the ceremony to that of a governor. At the seat of power, Nairobi, it was decided, the function must be.
Highly placed sources say the opposition intends to marshal more than two million of its supporters who will keep vigil and light bonfires prior to the anticipated ceremony at Uhuru Park. However, we have information that should the police seal off Uhuru Park, the occasion will be moved to Raila’s Capitol Hill offices. There are elaborate plans to have the clergy leaders grace the occasion.
The swearing-in, we have information, is to aimed at emboldening and unifying the opposition so as not to be seen as having lost the track, and is also seen as part of the road to Nasa’s Canaan, its supporters’ promised land. This, we learned, is moreover part of a strategy by the opposition not to scatter as they intensify the National Reistance Movement. At the swearing-in ceremony, it is said, messages from world leaders will be read out congratulating Raila.
The Capitol Hill which is Raila’s official offices and which houses Nasa secretariat is said to be designated to become the people’s president headquarters while the Okoa Kenya offices in Lavington will serve as the NRM command post.
Unlike what happened last Friday when Raila’s entourage got jamlocked and was easily under easy police surveillance, those who will be attending the swearing-in ceremony will use motorbikes to evade police roadblocks and dragnets like it happened in Kibera.
However, whereas the hardliners led by Senator James Orengo, ex-senators Johnson Muthama, Bonnie Khalwale, MPs Millie Odhiambo, Babu Owino, Tom Kajwang, Opondo Kaluma and Gladys Wanga are among those pushing for parallel swearing-in ceremony, we have a section of the moderates opposed to the move.
These want the swearing-in will be conducted parallel and simultaneously with Uhuru Kenyatta’s swearing-in at Kasarani. According to Nasa, Raila won the presidential elections but the results were manipulated to give Uhuru win.
— Weekly Citizen (@citizen_weekly) November 15, 2017
According to Raila, results by their mole at the IEBC showed that he had allegedly defeated Uhuru by 1.5 million votes, however, IEBC manipulated the results in favour of Uhuru who was declared the winner with 8.2 million votes compared to 6.8 million votes for Raila.
Aware of the constitutional requirements on swearing in of a president as in Article 141 of the constitution “The swearing in of the president-elect shall be in public before the Chief Justice, or, in the absence of the Chief Justice, the Deputy Chief Justice,” Nasa is said to have overlooked this constitutional requirement saying as things stands, there is no legitimate government after the Supreme Court quashed Uhuru’s victory and that the repeat presidential election was a sham.
Nasa is working on an option on who will swear in Raila at Uhuru park. The name that is being touted as the man to swear in Raila is that of former Attorney General and Busia senator Amos Wako. He is a senior counsel and had in the past played part in swearing in of then president Mwai Kibaki both in 2003 and 2007.
Sources also say that Nasa have also in mind the former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga to preside over the ceremony. Further information has it that Mutunga has become a close confidante of Kalonzo Musyoka, offering legal advice. Other sources say the maverick Miguna Miguna who of late has found solace and his way into opposition wings has agreed to swear in Raila as president. He is also a barrister and solicitor in Canada, and an advocate of the High Court of Kenya who served as a senior adviser of Raila from 2009 to 2011.
It is still not known if Mutunga has accepted to preside over the ceremony but sources say he is among the top men Nasa wants to swear in Raila. Raila’s move is likely to be interpreted by the government as an attempt to create a parallel centre power in government structures, setting the stage for further confrontation.
Other top lawyers known to be friendly to Nasa and who could offer to swear in Raila includes Okongo Omogeni and Pheroze Nowrojee. Also being mentioned is Makau Mutua.
Sources say after taking oath of office, Raila is expected to name a cabinet. It is whispered that the cabinet will operate from his Capitol Hill office where all Nasa activities will be planned and executed.
The Raila cabinet, sources say will be in charge of all the operations of Nasa and most importantly, to push for the people’s assembly motion and to ensure as many county assemblies as possible passes it. The assemblies, Nasa said, will be a taskforce that will be charged with coming up with suggestions of how to change the constitution— including the structure of government and the elections regime.
The cabinet will also coordinate the activities of the NRM including pushing for more street demos and economic boycott.
We are informed Raila is preparing for a longer struggle against the Jubilee administration with a view to forcing a third election.
According to inside Nasa sources, the Raila parallel government will try to make it impossible for Jubilee to run the affairs of the country until such a time that they will call for dialogue and agree on minimum electoral reforms followed by fresh presidential elections.
But questions abound on how such a parallel cabinet will operate without financial support or where Nasa would get money to run it. Our sources Nasa plans to set up an independent treasury which will receive funds from local and international friends of Nasa. It has also been proposed that all county governments under Nasa will not pay taxes to the national government but to the Nasa treasury. This has however been termed ridiculous as the counties get funds from the government.
Financing a parallel government is based on wellwishers. Indeed, talk is that Jubilee fear is that to disperse fund to counties may end up financing Raila’s parallel government. Talk of Nasa enjoying support of Chinese firms out to make lucrative business in the country is also rife.
It is suspected Raila enjoys financial support of a number of African presidents. In the runup to the August 8 general elections, government spokesman Eric Kiraithe claimed that Tanzania president John Magufuli was among dozens of foreigners who were funding Raila and Nasa. Tanzania is itself however unable to fund its own government projects.
Also in the list of those who are suspected to be supporting Nasa is Hungarian-American business magnate George Soros. Kiraithe had claimed that Magufuli and Soros were the leading sponsors of Raila to destabilise the Jubilee government. At one time, Kiraithe claimed that Soros donated Sh530 million to Raila to destabilise Uhuru government. Soros is known to fund rebels in West and Central Africa.
According to sources, Soros finances Raila through a non-governmental organisation known as key Empowerment Foundation Kenya that was registered by Raila’s daughter Rosemary. The NGO’s accounts have since been frozen.
Soros has been accused of funding regime change in many parts of the world using his billions to influence the judiciary, politicians and the civil society. This is according to petitions to the US government by Americans who want him declared a terrorist for sedition and treason among other accusations.
Back to the planned swearing- in at Uhuru Park, sources say what Nasa plans to do had happened in other African states where after elections, the opposition swore in their leader and attempted to form a parallel government.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, opposition chief, the late Etienne Tshisekedi, who rejected Joseph Kabila’s re-election as president, had himself sworn in at his home as police clashed with his supporters. He came second in the poll. He took the oath with a Bible in hand after his chief-of-staff Albert Moleka read a statement declaring him as the validly elected president of DRC.
In Nigeria, there was a political showdown between Moshood Abiola and Sani Abacha after Abiola declared himself President and went into hiding as Abacha flew to Tunis for a summit of African leaders. Abiola was arrested and detained before he could take oath of office and form a parallel Government as he had planned.
Abiola, a millionaire per see who apparently won a presidential election that the military annulled, was arrested at his home after making a public appearance in downtown Lagos, the country’s largest city, and declaring that he would announce a rival government within 30 days.
In Gabon, opposition candidate Jean Ping declared himself president after a disputed election that triggered two days of post-election riots against President Ali Bongo while in Gambia, President Yahya Jammeh, who disputed his rival Adama Barrow’s election victory attempted to remain in power beyond his legal mandate.
And in Ivory Coast, during the second round of a presidential election which pitted incumbent Laurent Gbagbo against his rival Alassane Ouattara, the country found itself with two presidents (Gabgo and Quattara). The constitutional council declared Gbagbo the victor, while the electoral commission said that Ouattara won. The UN recognised Ouattara’s victory and the European Union, France and the United States called on Gbagbo to step down. West African regional bloc ECOWAS said it recognised Ouattara as president and suspended the Ivory Coast’s membership. Gbagbo is currently on trial before the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity in relation to the clashes.
In Madagascar, in January 2002, President Didier Ratsiraka’s rival, Antananarivo Mayor and successful entrepreneur Marc Ravalomanana, sent his supporters into the streets claiming victory in the first round of presidential elections held in December 2001.
Ravalomanana refused a second round of voting, while Ratsiraka declined to concede defeat, plunging the country into seven months of violence and chaos. The impasse split the vast nation in two – with two capitals, two governments, and a divided army, until Ravalomanana was officially proclaimed president in April 2002 and sworn in on May 6, with Ratsiraka still disputing the result.
At one time, Gambia too had two presidents, Yahya Jammeh who had been in power for 22 years refused to step down after he lost the election and Adama Barrow who was the President-elect.
Near home in Uganda, opposition leader Kizza Besigye was arrested after he illegally swore himself in as the country’s president. This was despite the fact that he lost the election to incumbent president-elect Yoweri Museveni. He was later arrested and is facing charges of treason.
Back to Nasa’s planned formation of parallel government, sources say this is not the first time Raila will be thinking of establishing a parallel government. It is said in the wake of the disputed 2007 elections that ODM was for the idea. The party leadership’s planned to take over the country by forming a parallel government as ODM wrestled President Mwai Kibaki after the disputed polls. They later came to conclude that such a move would have caused anarchy.