Azimio la Umoja - One Kenya coalition has announced countrywide rallies to protest a plot to kick out four embattled electoral commissioners from office.
Addressing members of the press on Sunday, November 27, Azimio leader Raila Odinga said the consultative rallies will offer the public a platform to express their views on four petitions seeking the removal of the four commissioners from office over their conduct during the August general election.
Raila, who maintained that his victory was stolen, claimed the four petitions before Parliament were sponsored by the Kenya Kwanza administration to send the four commissioners home, in a wider scheme to aimed at influencing the outcome of the 2027 elections.
He said the first rally will be held at Kamukunji Grounds in Nairobi on Wednesday, November 30, before being extended to other counties across the country.
"As you know that this regime which came to power through rigging of elections is now hell-bent on sending home the commissioners who stood firm on the platform of the truth. And we are saying this is not acceptable. The people of Kenya will not accept it. It's known worldwide that these people stole this election," Raila said.
"We are going to consult widely with the people of Kenya. We will begin in Nairobi on Wednesday. We will have a meeting with the people of Nairobi at Kamukunji Grounds to ask them if they accept that these commissioners should go home," he added.
"We will then do the same thing in Mombasa, Nakuru, Kisumu and Kakamega because an independent electoral commission is a referee. It can not be appointed by a player."
The four, IEBC Vice Chairperson Juliana Cherera, commissioners Irine Masit, Justus Nyangaya, and Francis Wanderi, rejected the presidential results announced by IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati on August 15, claiming the final tallying of the results was opaque.
The four also filed affidavits supporting Azimio’s unsuccessful petition challenging Ruto’s win at the Supreme Court.
They have been summoned to appear before the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee (JLAC) for a hearing on the petitions seeking their removal from office for, among others, gross misconduct and abuse of office.
On Thursday, Raila, who attended the JLAC session, warned of a sustained fightback if Parliament proceeds with its plan to investigate the commissioners.
Flanked by Azimio top brass including Martha Karua and Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka, Raila said the decision by the committee to summon the commissioners would be vehemently opposed.
Raila claimed the Legal Affairs Committee was being used by the ruling administration to go after the four for rejecting Ruto’s win.
“The injustice being inflicted on the four IEBC commissioners, if it proceeds as currently conceived, will mark the beginning of a massive pushback against Ruto and those who think like him, by the people of Kenya. We will openly and robustly lead that pushback,” Raila said.
He defended the four saying they had not been found culpable of any electoral malpractice. He instead redirected blame to Chebukati who, he said, was the only one indicted by the Supreme Court.
“The Ruto administration wants to take us back to the Nyayo regime of the 1980s. We want to sound a warning that no one should lie to this regime that we will sit back and watch a return to the Nyayo regime by another name,” Raila said.
Karua, who was Raila’s running mate in the elections, said the committee’s actions were politically motivated. According to her, it was an attempt to block Cherera, the IEBC’s vice-chair, from running the commission once Chebukati retires early next year.
“This witch-hunt in Parliament is intended to prevent the vice-chairperson from taking over as provided for by the law,” she said.
Kalonzo, on his part, said the hearings were politically motivated.