KENYA–Advisers of opposition chief Raila Odinga are pushing him to form a parallel government after his controversial inauguration as President slated for January 30, a confidential strategy document indicates.
According to the strategy paper, NASA plans to form what it says will be a powerful national organ known as the National People’s Constituent Assembly (NPCA).
With the backing of the people’s assemblies at the county level, the strategy is to have NPCA as the de facto executive.
“In order for it to be effective and fully enforceable, the NPCA will need the unequivocal support of the respective county governments and county assemblies,” the strategy document reads.
According to the document detailing the resistance roadmap against President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration, Raila should be sworn in as the duly elected President during the first NPCA.
“It is crucial during the first NPCA Raila is declared the duly elected President and that he be the presiding President of the powerful NPCA until it achieves its objectives,” the document states.
Already, 15 county assemblies have passed a motion establishing the People’s Assembly and resolved they will not recognise Uhuru as the President.
NASA is also confident that Kisii, Turkana, Trans Nzoia and Nyamira – all of which are controlled by NASA governors – will pass the People’s Assembly motions.
On Sunday, Raila gave the clearest signal that the strategy is being implemented.
Raila said they will not bow to pressure from supporters to “lift the Bible and be sworn into office casually”.
“It is not just about carrying the Bible. We must have a plan after the Bible. We don’t want to be like Besigye (Ugandan opposition leader),” he said.
According to the strategy document, lack of recognition of Uhuru’s presidency by a substantial number of county governments will whittle down his influence on state power.
Yesterday, National Assembly Minority leader John Mbadi maintained the oath is the only solution.
He spoke after meeting US Ambassador Robert Godec, who called for a national conversation on issues affecting the country.
“Who said the person who governs this country must stay in State House? Who said the person who governs this country works from Harambee House? It is just a building. The building can be moved elsewhere,” Mbadi said after meeting the envoy.
According to the NASA think tank, all counties that were “denied their inherent non-negotiable right to elect, determine and consent who will govern the country” must invoke their sovereignty and issue enforceable declarations that have direct implications on the economy, security and political governance.
It remains unclear whether governors elected on NASA-allied parties tickets will completely reject any association with Jubilee.
Last month, Uhuru and DP William Ruto addressed an induction workshop for the governors. The two were invited by the Council of Governors as the legitimate heads of the executive.
Raila, who has previously addressed such functions as the opposition leader, was not invited. It has also emerged that NASA will be pushing for a referendum as part of its long-term strategy.
Oduor Ong’wen, a member of the People’s Assembly’s organising committee, on Monday told a Kenyan newspaper that NASA will be pushing for a plebiscite after the oath.
Ong’wen said it is only the plebiscite that will shape the country’s direction.
“In the end of it, there must be a referendum so that people say this is the direction we want to go,” said Ong’wen who is also the ODM Executive Director.
The plebiscite hint was also dropped by Raila in his New Year message to Kenyans on a raft of issues that dialogue could address if the Jubilee wing accepted talks.
These include fixing the country’s electoral system, reforming the executive, protecting the Judiciary, reforming the security sector and strengthening devolution.
This is not the first time the opposition is plotting a referendum.
A similar bid technically flopped in March 2016 after failing the required threshold of one million signatures.
The opposition then wanted a law change to among other things increase funds allocated to counties to at least 45 per cent of the national revenue.
The NASA leaders have started a nationwide campaign to build momentum for the swearing-in.
Speaking after the inauguration of the western region’s People’s Assembly, Raila invited the Luhya nation for the swearing-in ceremony.
“I am telling you it will happen and I want everybody from Ingo [Luhya] to come,” Raila stated.
At the end of the meeting, the leaders read out a strongly worded resolution and threatened to secede if their demands are not addressed.
“We hereby resolve to participate and support fully the People’s Assembly process until we restore democracy or go our separate ways,” a resolution read by Lugari MP Ayub Savula reads in part.
Calls for talks
The United States and Israeli governments are pushing for a government of national unity, as the only solution to the stalemate in Kenya.
The two foreign governments as well as the European Union have been pressuring opposition chief Raila Odinga and his running mate in the presidential election, Kalonzo Musyoka, to drop their bid to be sworn in as the people’s president and deputy respectively.
On Monday, US Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec met Leader of Minority in the National Assembly John Mbadi and his Senate counterpart, Moses Wetang’ula, to try to persuade them not to support the idea of swearing in Raila and Kalonzo.