CORD Leader Raila Odinga has declared the coalition’s consultative meetings across the country will go on as planned a day after the police and local political networks in the Rift Valley were reported to have denied CORD all venues in Eldoret.
Addressing a press conference at ODM Headquarters, Orange House, Odinga scoffed at attempts by the Jubilee government to intimidate CORD by zoning off certain regions using very trivial reasons.
CORD Secretariat had yesterday issued a statement condemning the government after it emerged the police had secretly revoked a license CORD had been given to hold a public rally at Eldoret’s 64 stadium.
Here is the CORD Press Statement.
The Coalition for Reforms and Democracy has held four extremely successful and hugely peaceful rallies since May 31st, 2014 when thousands of people turned up to welcome its leader Hon. Raila Odinga back into the country from a three-month sabbatical in the US.
The peaceful rallies have come against a background of grim predictions by government and Jubilee functionaries that they would breed chaos and insecurity in the country. In recent days, the administration has intensified its campaign against CORD rallies, blaming them wrongly for all the security failures that have afflicted the country in the last one year.
This is despite the fact that the CORD rallies are barely a month old and have all been peaceful and attended by Kenyans from across the ethnic and political divide. CORD therefore condemns in very strong terms the alleged cancellation of its rally in Eldoret slated for Friday, June 27th, 2014. We condemn the maneuvers by sections of government to cancel our planned rally planned for Ntulele, Narok on Saturday, 28th June, 2014.
We wish to clarify that we will proceed with both rallies as planned; Eldoret on Friday and Ntulele on Saturday. In the predictions of doom and chaos being fuelled by Jubilee, we see a deliberate effort by the government to pursue a self-fulfilling prophecy similar to the vile propaganda Kanu spread in the 1990s that multi-party politics would breed chaos, ethnic hatred and bloodshed.
Soon after those grim predictions, sponsored chaos emerged in parts of the country leading to ethnic cleansing and mayhem that left thousands dead and many more maimed and wounded. The country lives with the results of that dark, self-fulfilling prophecy to date. In the alleged cancellation of rallies, we also see attempts by Jubilee administration to revive the division of the country into Kanu zones and Opposition zones as Kanu in the 1990s in a bid to stop the people from exercising their freedoms as contained in our hard won constitution.
As Opposition Coalition, we stand committed to defending the constitutional right of Kenyans to free expression, association and assembly. We threaten no one and we expect no one to declare us as threats to peace or to threaten us.
It took a monumental battle to win the freedom we enjoy today. We stand ready to wage another monumental struggle to defend and sustain these freedoms. Kenyans need to remember that the struggle for the freedoms we enjoy today took more than 20 years because the leadership then tried to stop us from attaining and enjoying them.
The people who are today trying to stop us from enjoying the fruits of that long and deadly struggle are products of the system that tried to stop us from getting the freedoms. That is why they can still instruct Police to purport to be cancelling public gathering, a role that was long taken out of the hands of the police.
A famous African proverb says a fruit does not fall far from its tree. We all know the tree from which the Jubilee fruit is falling. The choice is ours, whether to surrender or soldier on as a nation. Surrender is not an option in CORDâ€™s view.
We therefore wish to advise our supporters and all Kenyans who value freedom and peace that we will proceed with all our rallies as scheduled; beginning with Eldoret on Friday, June 27, 2014. We call upon the National Government to respect the Constitution by providing security at all these CORD events. Provision of security is the primary role of any government on earth. In fact, it is about the only reason why people agree to operate under some form of government.
The People of Kenya deserve and should demand no less.