CORD STATEMENT ON VERIFICATION OF OKOA KENYA SIGNATURES ON PROPOSED REFERENDUM; 21st MARCH 2016:
On 9th November 2015, the Okoa Kenya Movement submitted to the IEBC signatures for the proposed referendum on the amendment of the constitution through a popular initiative.
In undertaking the exercise, we followed all procedures provided by the Constitution. After about a year of meticulous and demanding activity, the Okoa Kenya Movement handed to the IEBC 1.6 million signatures which were way above the mandatory constitutional threshold of 1 million. We did this within the required timelines.
On the day we submitted the signatures, IEBC agreed to work and verify them within the period of three months as stipulated by the Constitution. It is close to six months since we submitted those signatures. The IEBC is yet to get back to us.
But we have remained patient and exercised restraint. We have chosen the path of dialogue and consultations with IEBC.
And so, on 16th February 20 16, after the expiration of 90 days, we visited the IEBC having waited in vain to hear from them, to get the way forward on our proposed referendum.
During that visit, despite the fact that the constitutional time line of three months had elapsed, the IEBC promised that it shall complete the verification process within ten (10) working days from 16th February 2016. Despite the constitutional violations we accepted the request in expectation of a fair and just exercise.
Last week, after waiting in vain to hear from the IEBC, we decided to visit the Commission again to get updates on progress.
This time round, we were told all commissioners were out of office. Only the CEO and his deputy were present. We made it clear that in the absence of the chairman Mr Isaak Hassan and his fellow Commissioners, the engagement did not constitute a formal meeting with the Commission.
We notified the IEBC that we were running out of patience with the casual manner in which it was handling the critical matter of the proposed referendum.
The proposed referendum has the backing of the Constitution. It has the faith and commitment of up to 1.6 million people who had appended their signatures in support of the Bill. That Bill has issues that are critical to the future of our nation which is currently plagued with run -away corruption, marginalization of communities and regions and grim attempts to roll back the gains of the struggle for the Second Liberation. In the days after the last visit, the IEBC has chosen to speak to us through Jubilee leaders.
Elements of Jubilee leadership claimed that the Okoa Kenya signatures were fake and inadequate. The signatures had been submitted solely to the IEBC and not shared with any other entity or person.
Yet here were our rivals Aden Duale and Johnson Sakaja speaking authoritatively on a matter being handled supposedly by a different and independent institution, the IEBC.
To date, the IEBC has not said a word on those claims by the Jubilee leaders. And the IEBC, which was supposed to get back to us in ten days from 16th February, is yet to speak to us.
The statements being made by Jubilee leaders clearly indicate that Jubilee and the IEBC is one and the same thing. We are looking at a pattern very similar to what IEBC did for and with Jubilee in 2013. Then as now, statements originated from Jubilee leaders about the numbers they have and would get at the polls, then the IEBC bent over and went all out to make the prophecy come true.
Jubilee is once again leading the chorus on the question of threshold. It is raising questions over the veracity and the number of signatures we submitted. Jubilee is raising the question of threshold which was and remains at the centre of Uhuru’s Kenyatta’s fraudulent victory in 2013 when IEBC went all out to ensure the Jubilee candidate scraped through without a run off.
We will not be surprised if the IEBC bends over again to confirm Jubilee’s prophecy that the Okoa Kenya bill did not meet the threshold on signatures. We hope that will not be the case though.
We wish to warn the IEBC and Jubilee that they dare not take this path again.
The times have changed. Critical lessons have been learnt from the 2013 fraudulent polls. Kenyans are marching on sadder but wiser after the fraud imposed on them by the most incompetent, most corrupt and most confused leadership in our history. Never again shall we allow the will of the people to be subverted and stolen either by the IEBC or the Jubilee leadership.
That determination to stop governance by fraud and subversion of the will of the people will begin with the exercise currently in the hands of the IEBC.
We shall use all constitutional, parliamentary and extra parliamentary means to stop the IEBC from corrupting the desire of the people of Kenya.
We know that the Jubilee leaders are putting the IEBC under pressure to reject our initiative. Yet the IEBC knows the signatures we submitted were valid and more than adequate for the referendum. This is the last chance for IEBC to demonstrate its independence. It is IEBC’s and Jubilee’s last chance to do the right thing and respect the wishes of the people. The time is long past for the IEBC to give us its verdict on the signatures. IEBC must give us the answer now or tell us whether what we heard from Jubilee is the answer.
But let the message go out loud and clear to the IEBC and Jubilee: We shall not allow electoral theft and subversion of the will of the people and of the constitution to be accepted as policies and unlawful executive fiats through which leadership is acquired and the nation is governed.
SIGNED; 21st MARCH 2016.
RT. HON RAILA ODINGA
HON KALONZO MUSYOKA