Nairobi - CORD leader Raila Odinga has in an open letter to President Uhuru Kenyatta stated reasons why he feels there is need for dialogue between the government and opposition.
The letter dated Friday June 20, 2014 states the reasons why the opposition feels dialogue is necessary in dealing with the current spate of problems affecting the country.
It is yet another statement of intent from the opposition for dialogue, a matter which has caused endless tension in the country.
And thus the well toned letter will put pressure on the president to accept dialogue, especially with CORDs insistence that they will hold a major rally on Saba Saba day next month if the call for dialogue is not heeded.
The president has already agreed to talks but only if the agenda lies on the government's side and is development based, while CORD want it on their terms, thus the current impasse.
The government has already insisted that it will not discuss issues that can be dealt with at legislative level, asking CORD to take their concerns with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commision IEBC to parliament.
Odinga though, has stated his issue with the IEBC in the letter.
Below is the full letter as written by the former Prime Minister.
I wish again to convey my sincere condolences to the people of
Mpeketoni, Lamu County, over the senseless and brutal killings of many
innocent Kenyans and to share with you the grief and sadness over the
tragic events that occurred in the county. This occurrence is an
unfortunate additional tragedy to the now growing and harrowing
statistics of attacks that the Kenyan people have suffered over the last
We must stand together as a nation to fight terrorism
in all its forms and your Excellency can be assured of my full support
in the war against terror. I commend the people of Kenya who have shown
unity and resilience and demonstrated courage and patriotism in defence
of the motherland.
Last year after the Supreme Court heard and
determined my petition challenging the presidential elections, I
accepted the verdict. I did that as a true believer in constitutionalism
and the rule of law and declared that Kenya is greater than any one of
However, since then, Kenya has been faced with major problems
and challenges that may tear the country apart if not immediately
addressed. I have chosen the path of dialogue as the lawful and sensible
way of dealing with what the country faces today.
obvious signs that if we do not confront these problems and challenges
now through a structured process of national dialogue then the road to
peace will be thorny and difficult.
I seek no office or reward.
CORD does not want to share power with the Jubilee administration. We
have a constitutional mandate as the opposition in parliament and as a
coalition of political parties. However, the problems and challenges
facing the country cannot all be addressed as an exercise of law making
or oversight. Nor can they be resolved on the basis of the classical
interplay between the three arms of government.
power belongs to the people of Kenya and the people may exercise their
sovereign power directly. The national values and principles of
governance include participation of the people. We are seeking national
dialogue within the context of the Constitution and not outside it.
I therefore urge you, my brother, to read the words of Prophet Isaiah found in Chapter 1, Verse 18 (King James Version);
“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins
be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like
crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall
eat the good of the land. But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be
devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it”.
These words constituted the political choices that Mahatma Gandhi and
Martin Luther King Junior took and which later informed and guided the
resolution of the national question in South Africa. So I offer the hand
of peace and an olive branch so that we may “dwell in unity, peace and
liberty” and in happiness and prosperity.
CORD wishes to put on
the table of dialogue five issues, which are; inclusivity and national
unity, devolution, corruption, the electoral process and national
INCLUSIVITY AND NATIONAL UNITY
One of the
running themes of the Constitution is the question of unity and
inclusivity as a mechanism of slaying the hydra of tribalism, racism and
other forms of discrimination. And every state organ and institution is
required to be guided by the principles of competitiveness and
transparent processes of appointment of state officers and the promotion
of gender equality in the management of public affairs. Recruitment in
state organs must reflect the diversity of the Kenyan people in
equitable proportions. No single community, group or coalition should
establish a hegemony over the public service or the distribution of
These are the standards and the imperatives set
by the Constitution of the Republic of Kenya. Less than a year after the
last general elections, several communities are feeling excluded on the
basis of ethnicity, identity or gender.
the objects of devolution is to ensure that there is equitable sharing
of national and local resources throughout Kenya. The guarantee for
achieving this is found both in Article 203(2) and (3) as read together
with Article 229 of the Constitution. In requiring that the Auditor
General, the Executive and Parliament conclude financial audit in time,
the Constitution protects the counties from the mischief by the National
Government of using historical and old audited and approved accounts in
the division of revenue. The funds allocated to the counties must be
based on the audited accounts of the financial year immediately
preceding the current financial year. The county governments have lost
nearly 600 billion shillings in 2012/2013 and 2013/2014 because the
National Treasury has used outdated accounts for the purposes of sharing
of revenue between the national government and the county governments.
The centralism of the old order has been retained by establishing and
restructuring the provincial administration in its old tradition and
format as a tool of colonialism before 1963 first and later the imperial
presidency after independence. The interventions of the National
Government through the Ministry of Devolution and Planning and other
agencies are suffocating devolution and down grading and undermining the
relationship between the two levels of government which otherwise must
be conducted on the basis of consultation and cooperation between
distinct and inter-dependent entities.
promises made that corruption will be eradicated, the menace has
resurrected vigorously and has compromised flagship projects of Vision
2030 and new development initiatives. The unlawful payment of Kshs. 4.5
billion to Anglo-Leasing related companies is shrouded in mystery and
raises questions of lack of integrity, transparency and accountability.
The Standard Gauge Railway project, which is a key and vital development
in the expansion and modernization of Kenya’s infrastructure, has
raised serious credibility concerns and it would appear that costs have
been escalated in order to accommodate rents and kickbacks for brokers.
Major questions are being raised about the probity and accountability of
several pork-barrel and ‘sweetheart’ deals in the energy, oil, mining
and agricultural sectors. Mega projects have become the handmaiden of
ELECTORAL PROCESS AND THE INDEPENDENT ELECTORAL AND BOUNDARIES COMMISSION
The Kriegler Commission articulated the basis for the reform of the
electoral law in Kenya. The problems of 2007 general elections visited
2013 general elections and currently there is no doubt that unless a
proper review and overhaul is undertaken, the conduct of free and fair
elections will continue to be a mirage in Kenya.
It is not my
wish to contest the results of the presidential elections held in 2013.
Rather, I want Kenya to develop a political culture based on the
proposition that elections should not be remembered through the
repulsive images of disputes and even conflicts that arise after every
election but rather by the power and might of the ballot exercised and
cast in freely contested democratic election.
Under Articles 238 and 239 of the Constitution, the national security
organs have important functions of protecting life, freedom and
property. They protect Kenya’s territorial integrity and sovereignty
against external and internal threats. The security organs need the
unequivocal support and cooperation of the people particularly by
denying terrorists and criminal elements sanctuary in our land. But we
have been hit very hard and complacency and firefighting activities will
not rid Kenya of terrorist attacks. People have lost confidence in our
national security system and feel disappointed with the incompetent
leadership at the head of our security and intelligence organs.
Questions are also being raised about our military operation in Somalia
not in terms of its validity or legitimacy but in terms of longevity and
lack of clear operational objectives. In terms of the confluence and
the fast and furious sequence of terrorist activities, 2014 may turn out
to be the worst year since the attacks on the American Embassy in 1998
as Kenya lost in two days this week more than 70 people in Mpeketoni.
This is besides the shooting, grenade attacks and IED explosions in
Diani, the church in Likoni, Pangani Police Station, Mwembe Tayari, the
outskirts of the Reef Hotel in Nyali, Thika Road, Nairobi and Gikomba
market. And we are still counting. To deal with this sequel of terror
and its fatal and devastating effects the nation must sit and dialogue
together and in unison combat terror and other invasions to our peace,
prosperity and the rule of law.
I want to assure your Excellency
that we hold no grudges nor do we want to interfere with your tenure and
that of the jubilee administration as the President and the Government
of the Republic of Kenya. We have been holding very peaceful rallies as a
way, under the Constitution, of engaging the people in an open and
public discourse on how we can make Kenya great and prosperous; a free
nation, a people liberated and an independent country in the
international community of nations.
RAILA AMOLO ODINGA
NAIROBI, 20TH JUNE 2014
For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page!
Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.