The stage is set for a civil-society-led meeting at Ufungamano House today following Raila Odinga’s tweet invitation. The objectives of the meeting include charting a path for Kenya’s salvation, engaging all Kenyans in ‘making our nation great’, and rejecting a Ruto-controlled parliament.
9: 54 am: An hour after the meeting was scheduled to start, Raila Odinga finally arrives at Ufungamano to a relatively empty hall.
10:10 am: MC says we are starting in the next 10 minutes. Raila and Team are in a consultative meeting. MC is Mdomo Baggy – Maurice Achieng’. He is ever part of the rally as well as people’s barazas.
10:15 am: National anthem and prayers in progress.
10: 24 am: After prayers, MC Mdomo Baggy welcomes those in attendance and introduces the guests.
10: 25 am: Abubakar Zein, former EALA MP, takes the people through the program of the day and explains the purpose of the meeting. He says many more such town halls meetings to be held in coming days for leaders to listen to the citizens.
10: 30 am: ODM, deputy party leader Wycliffe Oparanya, joins the meeting.
10: 32 am: Zein shares Program
10: 35 am: Presentation by IT team. Oduor Ongwen on stage. He reminds the people that Ufungamano is a hallowed ground. He says it was not by accident that they chose Ufungamano House as the meeting point. It plays a significant role in Kenya’s history.
10: 39 am: IT specialist Barnabas Otieno makes the presentation ‘Anatomy of Rigged Elections’. He says he tallied results from polling stations. He compared results from IEBC servers and those from polling stations.
10:58 am: More opposition leaders streaming in including Rarieda MP Otiende Omollo, Senator Narok County Olekina Ledama, Senator Nairobi County Edwin Sifuna, Senator Kilifi County Stewart Madzayo.
11:21 am: Otieno while referencing Kenya Elections Results website affirms that there was manipulation of results through;
- Direct transfer of votes method from Raila to Ruto.
- Flip or swap results method. He gave an example of Tarbaj constituency where he noted, “vote count was not interfered with, but instead they switched the columns. The column with results belonging to Raila would be swapped with that of Ruto.” He said this method was applied mainly in parts of Central Province and Rift Valley
- Standard outcome of 10s and 100s method. He said, “Raila’s votes were reduced to values in the tens, and Ruto’s increased to values in the hundreds for instance in Othaya Constituency.”
11:53 am: Gacheke Gachihi, Coordinator of Mathare Social Justice Centre takes stage. He says that the electoral justice campaign and people’s March to State House must go hand in hand with social justice.
Gacheke makes the following demands;
- Electoral and social justice, which includes the right to food, healthy education, and water.
- Immediate end to police brutality.
- Provision of decent housing and land for the people.
- Actualization of TJRC report and Ndungu report.
- Immediate stop to ethnicization of security agencies and public offices.
12:00 pm: Former Vice President and Azimio la Umoja Principal Kalonzo Musyoka arrives at Ufungamano.
12:01 pm: Gacheke says the on July 7, during sabasaba this year, they will form the people’s government.
12:08 pm: Minoo Kyaa from the Social Justice Centre traveling theater and a resident of Mukuru kwa Njenga calls for full implementation of Article 43 of the Constitution – right to food.
She emphasizes the right to hold demonstrations. She also explained how the youth are suffering due to lack of employment.
Minoo calls for youth and women to participate in the public barazas.
12:10 pm: Calvince Okoth Gaucho – Bunge la Wananchi representative says wanabunge want to continue with maandamano as talks continue. He asserts that wanabunge and wanaghetto still don’t have food and are suffering.
12:30pm: Universities Academic Staff Union (UASU) Secretary General Dr. Constantine Wesonga takes the stage. He says academic staff will not beg to be paid, they will demand.
12: 32 pm: President East African Students Union(EASU) and Kenya Universities Students Organisation (KUSO) Anthony Manyara, says students are dying by suicide for lack of food as there is no provision of HELB. He adds, “Students are ready to join maandamano and fight for Kenya”.
12:40pm: Ruth Mumbi, a Human Rights Defender (HRD) says the right of protest can never be the privilege of the state.”
She says that Article 1 of the constitution – sovereignty of the people – protects the right to protest. She adds that they are ready to exercise their right to protest as enshrined in the Constitution.
12:45 pm: Suba Churchill, the National Coordinator of the National Civil Society Congress (NCSC), Kenya says he was the co-chair of the Technical Committee on the Bill of Rights during the drafting of the Constitution.
“There can’t be reconciliation without justice and no justice without truth. The civil society calls for holders of the information (servers), to make it available to the people,” he says.
Suba calls for a review of the method of setting up the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). He notes, “the Constitution is not cast on stone, and there is room for relooking at article 88 on IEBC.”
He also wants the Public Benefit Organization (PBO) act that was signed into law in 2013 operationalized in order to have an enabling environment for civil society. He says the civil society is ready to join in the fight.
1.20 pm: Kalonzo Musyoka takes the stage and begins by calling out the Kenya Kwanza government for lacking seriousness in the dialogue.
“How do you prefix dialogue with denial?” he questioned.
He notes the negotiating principle – if you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.
” As we negotiate, and find that there is no good faith, Kenyans have a right to go back to the street,” he says.
1:58 pm: Ugunja MP and Minority leader, Opiyo Wandayi says unless the bipartisan process is opened to include external partners – youth, church, women, workers – they cannot be allowed to proceed.
2:41 pm: ODM deputy party leader and former Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya raises four critical issues that need intervention;
- Cost of living- he calls for the return of subsidies to curb the high cost of living.
- IEBC and servers – he wants the government to scrap the entire IEBC.
- Party indiscipline – buying of leaders. He notes that it is impossible to build the country’s democracy if MPs are being bought.
- Exclusion of other communities from the civil service.
3:07 pm: Azimio One Kenya Principal Martha Karua says any Kenyan, under article 35, can demand that servers be opened.
She asserts Kenyans shall use their sovereignty as a people to make sure servers are laid bare.
” You can have the might of the guns. We shall arm ourselves with the might of the people,” Karua says.
3.23 pm: Raila Odinga, Azimio la Umoja leader, says they are on holy grounds at ufungamano.
“Many ideas have come from this place that have contributed to change in the lives of the people. Throughout the talks, they expect the people to stand on guard to ensure it’s about them,” he says.
Raila reiterates that their demands remain as follows;
- Immediate steps to lower cost of food, fuel, and school fees.
- Opening and forensic audit of IEBC election servers.
- Restructuring and reconstitution of IEBC, and reinstatement of the four commissioners.
- An end of poaching of MPs to the UDA side.
“Mazungumo iendelee na maandamano sambamba. Ramadhan ikiisha, tutangaza,” Raila says.