Nasa co-principal Moses Wetang’ula and the coalition’s MPs address journalists at Okoa Kenya offices in Nairobi on September 25, 2017. PHOTO | EVANS HABILNasa co-principal Moses Wetang’ula and the coalition’s MPs address journalists at Okoa Kenya offices in Nairobi on September 25, 2017. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL
By SAMWEL OWINO, @owino_samwel [email protected]

Nasa leaders maintained on Monday that their demonstration against electoral officials would proceed as planned, but said they would not storm the electoral agency to force them out .

The protest is meant to force the resignation of electoral commission CEO Ezra Chiloba and 10 officials whom the coalition claims bungled the August 8 presidential poll.

They announced that they would not storm the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) offices at Anniversary Towers, as earlier stated, to force out Mr Chiloba and his colleagues, but they would only march peacefully on the streets of Nairobi to push them to resign.

CONSULTATIVE MEETING

The protest comes even as the commission urged the Nasa leadership to put off Tuesday’s demonstration to enable a consultative meeting between IEBC, Jubilee Party and the opposition coalition scheduled for Wednesday.

“The commission, nonetheless, recognising your inalienable constitutional right to picket and demonstrate, writes to request that you put off the planned protest to enable the joint consultative meeting scheduled for Wednesday (tomorrow) to address the concerns raised by the various parties,” IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati said in the letter to the opposition on Monday evening.

The demonstration comes even as IEBC sent out a detailed response to Nasa on how the agency intended to conduct and manage the repeat presidential election. Nasa has set some conditions, which the commission must meet before its candidate Raila Odinga participates in the October 26 election.

‘IRREDUCIBLE MINIMUMS’

The list of “irreducible minimums” includes the personnel changes in which Nasa wants electoral officials, including commissioner Abdi Guliye, Mr Chiloba and his deputy Betty Nyabuto to be shown the door.

They also include reforms on election technology, identification of a new printer for the ballot papers as well as operational and logistical changes.

Speaking on behalf of the coalition’s leadership yesterday, Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula acknowledged receipt of the response, but said it did not address “irregularities and illegalities” in conformity to the Supreme Court ruling.

Mr Wetang’ula was briefing journalists at Okoa Kenya offices in Lavington where he assured that they would not be engaged in any confrontation with the police but will have a peaceful march, saying the Constitution guarantees them the right to picket. “Today’s demonstration is not a confrontation with anyone. We will march peacefully to show to the country our desire of having IEBC cleaned before the fresh poll,” he said.

‘STEP ASIDE’

He added: “There must be full accountability for the August 8 election. In this regard, we demand that all the IEBC officers now under investigation must step aside. In this regard, we are from tomorrow embarking on a campaign to demand suspension of these officers. We urge them to do the right thing and resign or retire voluntarily as one of them has already done.”

The opposition also said they will sue Safaricom, claiming that they conspired with IEBC and Jubilee to rig the August poll. “We will give details of acts of omission or commission of how Safaricom was part of the mess of the August poll,” added Mr Wetang’ula.

The senator added: “The role of the telecommunications service providers is also in question. We have very credible evidence that points to culpability of Safaricom on the basis of which we will institute private prosecution against the company and its directors.”