Nasa defends drive to raise campaign cash

BY DAILY BATION

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Nasa leaders Raila Odinga (right) and Kalonzo Musyoka address the media at Okoa Kenya offices in Nairobi on September 8, 2017, calling on Kenyans to support them financially in the run-up to the October poll. They have said the financial strategy enables Kenyans be part of the political process. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

National Super Alliance leader Raila Odinga has defended the coalition’s call for donations to finance its campaigns ahead of the repeat presidential poll on October 17.

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party had poked holes into the initiative, saying it is a scheme to fleece Kenyans of their hard-earned cash.

Mr Odinga however said such an initiative is a normal practice globally, even in developed democracies.

DONORS
The coalition on Monday unveiled an M-Pesa pay bill number and bank account through which the supporters can make contributions.

“All over the democratic world, elections are financed and run by donors and volunteers.

“In fact, in many countries where big business and the corporate world are in bed with the repressive State, volunteers and small donors are the ones who make the big difference,” Mr Odinga said during a press conference in Nairobi.

INCLUSIVITY
He said the Nasa initiative is people-driven.

“Jubilee is using our taxes to finance its elections and steal our votes.

“It is using our taxes to punish and beat us into surrender,” Mr Odinga claimed.

He added that the appeal for financial assistance from Nasa supporters is a continuation of the opposition’s quest for electoral justice.

“The fund we are launching today is another step on the long road to reclaim our country from fraudsters, election thieves and election authoritarianism.

“We want every Kenyan to be part of this historic journey because it offers each one of us a chance to ensure fidelity to the Constitution and restoration of our country’s glory that has been eroded by bad governance, corruption and tribalism.”

FRAUDSTERS
During a press conference at Parliament, National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale said he was shocked by Nasa’s appeal for funds.

In a stinging criticism of Mr Odinga and his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka, Mr Duale said the two would be bad for the economy if allowed to have their way.

“Kenyans must ignore these fraudsters masquerading as liberators. We are asking Kenyans to be very careful because this is similar to gambling.

“We expect them to go back to the people and prepare for the repeat poll. They should stop the shenanigans, press conferences and fundraisings,” Mr Duale said.

CAMPAIGN
Mr Duale, who is also the Garissa Township MP, claimed money collected to fund Nasa’s adopt-a-polling station plan could not be accounted for.

“Corrupt cartels funding them must have realised that they cannot win an election,” he said Monday.

At the same time, Nairobi lawmakers allied to Nasa have launched a vote-hunting strategy in the county targeting over 1.2 million votes out of the 2.2 million in the region.

The leaders held two meetings in Nairobi on Thursday and Friday to come up with the strategy.

RIGGING
The team was led by former Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama and former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero.

The leaders exuded confidence that they would bring in more votes for Mr Odinga than he secured in the August 8 poll.

Mr Muthama said the leaders unanimously agreed to fiercely protect Mr Odinga’s presidential votes in Nairobi in the forthcoming presidential election.

He claimed that the Nasa flagbearer’s votes in the capital were stolen.

IEBC
At the same time, Mr Muthama criticised the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission and its chairman Wafula Chebukati for not consulting stakeholders on the repeat poll.

He said they went ahead with the election plans unilaterally.

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