Nasa leader Raila Odinga at Uhuru Park on October 25, 2017 where hy called on his supporters to boycott the October 26 presidential election. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTENasa leader Raila Odinga at Uhuru Park on October 25, 2017 where hy called on his supporters to boycott the October 26 presidential election. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE
By PATRICK LANG’AT, [email protected]

The opposition has now rescheduled the arrival of its leader Raila Odinga to Friday to allow for a ‘dress rehearsal ’rally on Thursday.

Mr Odinga has been in the United States since Tuesday last week for meetings with top bureaucrats and Congress officials, as well as Kenyans living there.

He is mobilising support for his electoral reforms agenda.

He will on Monday fly to London, the United Kingdom, for further similar engagements.

He had been planned to jet back on Thursday, with the National Super Alliance (Nasa) Sunday threatening to swear him in if President Uhuru Kenyatta is sworn in.

BEFITTING WELCOME

“Nasa plans a grand and befitting welcome to this (Raila) indomitable and indefatigable leader,” Nasa coordination committee members, Siaya Senator James Orengo, and former senators Boni Khalwale (Kakamega) and his Machakos counterpart Johnston Muthama said in a joint statement.

On Thursday, the senators said Nasa will hold a rally at Kamukunji Grounds in Nairobi to prepare for the arrival.

“The rally will be a dress rehearsal for the Friday grand welcome. We welcome all Kenyans to this grand Thursday rally and the arrival party on Friday,” the Nasa leaders said.

The planned welcome on Friday, sources said, will be akin to the “Baba, while you were away” rally at the Uhuru Park in May 2014 that was organised after Mr Odinga’s three-month trip to the US.

“Baba, while you were away, they chased away investors and tourists,“ Mr Odinga enthusiast Japheth Moroko told the former prime minister, referring to Mr Odinga as Baba (father), a name that has now been adopted by the opposition camp.

BABA WHILE YOU WERE AWAY

“Baba, while you were away, they closed the lands offices. Baba, while you were away, they paid the Anglo Leasing thieves,” he said.

It is a line that Mr Odinga supporters have since used to ‘report’ to him the things that happened while he was away, with the hope, just like a child would of a father, that things will have been different had he (the father) been there.

“All these are part of our continuing journey of ensuring electoral justice and putting an end to the evil culture of sham elections with pre-determined outcomes. Together, we shall triumph,” the Nasa leaders said of the planned welcome party, and Thursday rally.