Secrets of Raila Saba Saba plan

Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (Cord) is set to re-brand ahead of the Saba Saba day event on July 7, a confidential document prepared by the alliance shows.

The document seen by the Sunday Nation outlines short and long-term measures the coalition will undertake as Cord seeks to effectively perform its opposition role.

The coalition’s think-tank furnished the principals Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetangula with the road map they hope will make Cord stand-out ahead of the 2017 General Election.

To ensure success of the Saba Saba day rally, the document notes that Cord must seek partnership with the civil society.

“Formation of network with the civil society with the aim of influencing operations of the government will come in handy,” reads the document.

It affirms a statement made by Mr Odinga to Nairobi MCAs at a meeting last week that individuals from the civil society are among those lined up to speak on July 7 at Uhuru Park.

“Representatives from the civil society will be among those who will address Cord supporters when the day comes,” Mr Odinga said at the private meeting on Wednesday.

The civil society is thus expected to play an important role in Cord’s activities in future.

The document was prepared by Dr Temi Mutia from Mr Musyoka’s Wiper party, ODM’s Norman Magaya and Mr Elvis Abuka of Ford-Kenya.


It was handed to the co-principals on June 2. It further advises that Cord should put in place a clear and smart communication strategy incorporating social media, electronic and print media as well as online journals.

“The communication unit must continuously and aggressively articulate a clear Cord brand and message to its target audiences and demographics at all times,” it states.

The document proposes the creation of new sub-committees with representatives from all the coalition member parties. They include a committee to mobilise finances, which would be jointly led by Mr Wetangula, ODM Secretary General Anyang’ Nyong’o, and Mr Johnston Muthama from Wiper.

Ms Rosemary Kariuki is in charge of the sub-committee for branding. As part of the strategy meant to keep the momentum of the coalition’s agenda until the country goes to the next polls, Cord’s leadership will hold regular visits to its strongholds as opposed to waiting until electioneering periods.

But should President Uhuru Kenyatta change stance and embrace national dialogue in the manner the Opposition is calling for, the team led by Mr Odinga, has already prepared a report on issues discussed.

This, according to a confidential note accompanying the report forwarded to the principals was prepared the moment Mr Kenyatta endorsed the proposal of having talks during on Madaraka Day celebrations, less than 24 hours after Cord placed the demand.

In the last elections, Jubilee coalition proved more tech-savvy in terms of utilising the new media to win support from the youth.

Cord says it will also engage in more research and sponsor opinion polls on proposed government programmes and issues of national interest.

“This will inform Cord’s action or reaction to issues thus ensuring a sustained or enhanced popularity as the clock ticks towards 2017,” says the brief.

It pegs the success of any undertaking by the coalition to an empowered secretariat in which all the affiliate parties are represented.

“Since last year’s General Elections, it has generally been felt that the only way the coalition is going to have serious impact at the national level is to have a functional secretariat manned by a team drawn from the three main political partners, ODM, Wiper and Ford-Kenya,” it reads.

As currently constituted, ODM is the most-dominant member of the coalition.

“In close liaison with the principals, the board and parties, we must develop a clear, unambiguous draft ideological position that’s apparent and harmonised at all levels of the coalition to form the basis and foundation of Cord’s agenda and plan for government.”

Cord is also setting up units within its ranks to push for mass voter registration in its strongholds when the exercise is called by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

This will go hand-in-hand with acquisition of national identity cards.

The two are included in the paper the Opposition is hoping to table in the event the national dialogue forum takes place.

The Opposition believes that it can measure to Jubilee’s tyranny of numbers if all its eligible supporters are issued with ID cards and they vote.

Another item is reforming IEBC, a matter that has not gone down well with the government. President Kenyatta has said that anybody who wants to reform or send IEBC commissioners home must go through the National Assembly and not any other forum.

Cord also wants the state of security and what it calls ethnic exclusion in government discussed, but the government has dismissed their demands.

The Saba Saba day event, according Mr Odinga, should be organised in such a way that every ward representative in all counties that enjoy huge Cord following has a set target of number of supporters they are required to bring on the material day.

“The event is better coordinated in cells or committees at ward level,” Mr Odinga advises.

The former premier noted in one of the coalition’s meetings with civic leaders in Nairobi that only one politician will address Cord supporters on Saba Saba day, the culmination of rallies the Opposition is rolling out in different parts of the country.

“We will have one person each talking on behalf of workers, the business community, the civil society, women, youth and the religious groupings. Only one politician will talk,” he said.

A series of rallies have been lined up in different parts of the country in what the Cord brigade call ‘dress rehearsal’. Today, the Cord leaders are expected to hold a massive rally at the Tononoka grounds in Mombasa.

Cord insiders reckon that the rallies have helped raise their fortune, which took a downturn immediately after their defeat at the polls last year.

On Friday, speaking in Migori, Mr Odinga said Kenya will never be the same after July 7.  “There would be no boarding of vehicles and, no reporting to work that day because Kenyans want to make a statement.” he said. “We are going to liberate you on Saba Saba day without failure. Jubilee leaders should rush and talk to us before we shut our doors on them.”

He asked his opponents not to write him off, saying the thousands of people who turned up to welcome him from the US two weeks ago was a clear indication Cord still enjoys immense following.
PHOTO | WILLIAM OERI Cord leader Raila odinga during an interview with the Sunday Nation.

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