Raila denied Nairobi campaign rally sites by Uhuru
PRIME Minister Raila Odinga is furious with his Cord presidential campaign secretariat after being outsmarted by his Jubilee rivals.
Jubilee Alliance has blocked Cord from using any of the main campaign venues in Nairobi in the final run-up to Monday’s election.
The Jubilee Alliance through its allied lobby groups has block booked the Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani, Uhuru Park, Uhuru Gardens, Nyayo Stadium and City Stadium from Thursday this week until Saturday, the last day allowed for campaigning.
The PM only found out when he inquired recently about the status of Uhuru Park as the venue for his last rally before the March 4 election. He was informed that all prime locations had been booked.
With no other options, Cord has booked its main rally on Saturday at the Tom Mboya grounds in Dandora. It will hold another earlier rally at the peripheral but historic Kamukunji grounds.
Jubilee Alliance holds its last rally at Uhuru Park on Saturday. It is not clear if any other Jubilee Alliance events will take place in the other reserved venues.
“It is not the business of the council to preserve venues for anybody. We let them to any willing client and this is what we did,” said a source at the City Council of Nairobi.
Rtd general John Koech, a member of Cord National Coordination Committee, said the move by Jubilee Alliance was unfair.
“We have information that lobby groups affiliated to Jubilee, maliciously booked the venues in advance even when they did not mean to use them but just to lock us out and deny us opportunity to speak to our supporters. But we will conduct our campaigns both in the air and on land. Nairobi is our stronghold,” Koech said.
Koech described Jubilee’s action as an act of desperation.
“What they have done shows that they are in a panic mode. They are scared of us because they know we are headed for victory. We will not be distracted by their machinations but we promise them that we will have our day after the elections,” Koech said.
Cord decided that petitioning the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission over the block booking was not “a good idea,” according to an inside source.
“The PM did not want ‘legal’ distractions in his last leg of campaigns. He said it would not auger well with his bid and that is how the decision to hold rallies in Dandora and Kamukunji was reached,” the source said.