Opposition leader Raila Odinga yesterday launched a scathing attack on President Uhuru Kenyatta, accusing the head of state of abusing power by abusing ODM governors.
In an exclusive telephone interview with the Star, Raila said the President was using his office to insult, intimidate and harass opposition governors.
“This behavior by the President needs prayers from Kenyans. He is not just abusing his powers but he is demeaning the institution of the presidency,” Raila said.
The former prime minister said the President should be censured for not behaving like a head of state.
“Something is very wrong,” Raila said, speaking on a stopover in Amsterdam.
The ODM leader arrived last evening from the US where he, among other engagements, delivered a lecture at Harvard University. Earlier he had visited his daughter Rosemary in South Africa. She is recovering from a benign head tumour.
Today Raila is expected to make a statement about the opposition alliance, NASA, after meeting his principals Kalonzo Musyoka of Wiper, Moses Wetang’ula of Ford Kenya and Musalia Mudavadi of ANC.President Uhuru Kenyatta is interviewed by Citizen’s Nipashe news anchors, Kanze Dena and Lulu Hassan at State House, Nairobi on Monday night. Photo/PSCU
Panic has gripped NASA after Kalonzo presented his presidential nomination papers to Wiper and was cleared to run. Despite many denials, it is widely believed Kalonzo will go it alone if NASA does not give him the joint presidential ticket.
While Raila was away, the President went on the war path, attacking ODM Governors Hassan Joho of Mombasa, Amason Kingi of Kilifi and Turkana’s Josephat Nanok.
The President started his attacks on the opposition leaders in Turkana where he referred to Nanok as a fool and a devil after the governor demanded a higher allocation of oil cash.
Before the exchange, Nanok, the ODM point man in the region, told the President oil proceeds to community had been capped to “nothing useful”.
But a seemingly angry Kenyatta hit back, accusing Nanok of having little to show for the more than Sh50 billion of devolved funds over four years.
Uhuru accused the governor of peddling falsehoods that he was only interested in the region’s oil, not development.
Yesterday Raila said the President was out of order when he insulted Nanok.
“These governors are elected by the people. They hold constitutional offices just like the President. There must be mutual respect between levels of government,” Raila said.
Later, in Mombasa the President took on Joho and Kingi dismissing the two as failures who were only interested in drama and not development.
He said Mombasa has received Sh40 billion and has nothing to show for it — Joho says it’s about Sh17 billion. CRA says Sh21 billion.
That followed Joho’s arrest — ‘office arrest’ — ordered by the presidency so that Joho would not disrupt the President’s event, commissioning Mtongwe Ferry service. Joho was physically blocked by GSU officers who ordered to stay away from the public function.
No sooner had the President returned to Nairobi than KRA launched an investigation into Joho’s Bank accounts. It is understood the taxman wants to know if Joho has been paying taxes.
In a rejoinder, Joho publicly told President to take all the money in his accounts if he wants.
“Nakwambia mheshimiwa Uhuru nina account tatu — Barclays, Stanbic na Diamond Trust. Nakupa ruhusa kuanzia leo, kuchukua hizo pesa mpaka ndururu. Msimamo wangu hautabadilika leo wala kesho,” he said.
This loosely translates, “President Uhuru, I have three accounts in Barclays, Stanbic and Diamond Trust banks. I am giving you permission to raid the accounts and take the cash you find there, to the last cent. My stand on issues will never change.”Cord leader Raila Odinga, his wife Ida and daughter Rosemary pose for a picture in South Africa where the latter is receiving treatment for a brain tumor. /COURTESY
Yesterday Raila said he ODM will stand by Joho, who is ODM’s deputy leader, because he was a loyal member of the party and NASA.
“These bad manners will not be entertained. We will stand with Joho come rain or shine. Joho is not just any ordinary person. He is a leader elected by his people,” Raila said.
The ODM boss said Raila said Joho was a victim of a campaign against the opposition because he retained the region in the opposition, despite Jubilee’s efforts.
The former PM discounted claims that the Coast was shifting to JP.
“The purported defections you are being told are laughable. Some people who were paraded in Tononoka have been defecting for months. Others have just been bought. How does that translate to votes? Our people remain with us and will they teach the defectors painful political lessons in August,” Raila said.
Coast residents voted overwhelmingly for the opposition in 2013.
Governor Hussein Dado of Tana River was the latest county boss to join Jubilee. He followed Salim Mvurya of Kwale, deputy governors Hazel Katana (Mombasa), Kenneth Kamto (Kilifi) and Fatuma Achani (Kwale).
Others were women representatives Zainab Chidzuga (Kwale), Joyce Lay (Taita Taveta) and Halima Ware (Tana River).
The region’s lawmakers who have ditched the Opposition include Senators Dan Mwazo (Taita Taveta) an, Gideon Mung’aro (Kilifi North) and MPs Mustafa Idd (Kilifi South), Khatib Mwashetani (Lunga Lunga), Peter Shehe (Ganze) and Masood Mwahima (Likoni). A host of MCAs from the six Coast counties also defected.
“Most of this people know they have lost elections. We are not bothered at all by their departure. We have very strong candidates who will shortly replace them,” Raila said.