The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Orange Democratic Movement held its first meeting of the year 2016 today at the party headquarters to chart the roadmap for the year as the country prepares for the next general election.Â
During the meeting, the members rallied behind calls by the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) for transparency, credibility, openness and fairness in the forthcoming mass voter registration exercise. Whereas it is a democratic right for anyone aged 18 years and above to take part in the voting exercise, it is also important that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) exercises highest levels of integrity in all its activities.
Indications that the IEBC intends to favour Jubilee zones by assigning more BVR kits compared to CORD zones, their non committal to opening up the voter registration exercise to international observers, the involvement of NIS officers as clerks in the voter registration, among others, are pointers that the Commission could be party to a conspiracy for early rigging of the 2017 general election. ODM will not allow this to happen.
We particularly reject the plan by IEBC to conduct voter registration at Ward level with only two BVR kits manned by only two clerks per Ward. IEBC claims this is due to budgetary constraints, having a budget of only Ksh. 500M for the exercise. We reject this attempt to disenfranchise Kenyans and demand that voter registration be done at the Polling Station with enough BVR kits and personnel.
Better reduce the number of days but reach all Kenyans.
The ODM NEC also expressed dissatisfaction with the manner in which institutions of accountability and integrity are handling graft cases in the country. Ranging from the multi-billion Eurobond scam to the IEBC â€˜chickengateâ€™ scandal, it is clear that the Jubilee administration abets corruption. We fully support our party leader Rt. Hon. Raila Odingaâ€™s stand and of CORD in demanding that the government explains how money from the Eurobond was spent, the projects to which it was allocated and who ate what. In any case, we believe the truth shall not for long remain concealed.
ODM is dismayed with the manner the government continues to mistreat the teachers of this country. Last yearâ€™s ruling by Justice Nelson Abuodha gave TSC 90 days to settle the salary increase matter with the teachers, but to date, the government has done nothing to resolve the impasse. To solve the stand-off between the TSC and the teachers, we demand that the government does the following;
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Instruct the Teachers Service Commission to remit teachers forthwith all contributions to KNUT and KUPPET for the months of October, November and December 2015 unconditionally.
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Instruct the TSC to implement the 50-60 percent pay increase to teachers as directed by the court with immediate effect and backdate to the date of award.
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Order the TSC to hold formal discussions with the Teachers Unions with the view of averting another teachers strike.
We also condemn in the strongest terms possible by the Jubilee government to use draconian laws to emasculate and control religious organizations. We shall resist their attempt to constrict freedom of worship. It is unconstitutional and must be resisted by all means possible.Â
The NEC also instructed the National Elections Board (NEB) to commence forthwith the process of preparation for nomination of candidates for the various positions in the next general election. We assure all our potential aspirants that the primaries across the board will be credible, free and fair. The party has no favoured candidate for any position.
In the meantime, we urge all party leaders and members to ensure everyone acquires the National Identity Card and enlists as a voter.
On the forthcoming by-elections, the NEC has received the report on the preparations for nominations and participation of the party in the exercise. We assure our members that the nomination exercise for the by-elections will be free, fair and transparent. The NEC urges all the spirants to adhere to the schedule given by the National Elections Board of the Party.Â Â Â
Finally, we wish all Kenyans a happy, peaceful and prosperous New Year, 2016.