Nasa lawyer and politician James Orengo has told off Western diplomats on a statement they released this week.
On Monday, the ambassadors and high commissioners, led by US ambassador Bob Godec, released a statement urging both sides to re-consider their tough positions. They told Nasa to give IEBC a chance to conduct the fresh election without demands/interference. They also advised Jubilee against passing any new legislation regarding the election this late in the game.
The diplomats; coming from the US, UK, Switzerland, Sweden, Germany, France, Finland and Netherlands, signed the joint statement that also spoke out against violence or plans for violence. This was interpreted to mean the scheduled Monday and Friday protests by Nasa.
There were earlier rumours that the diplomats had threatened to ban certain politicians and their families from travelling to their countries, if they do not tone down on their hard positions.
It is these developments that have not been taken kindly by Nasa, in particular Siaya Senator James Orengo.
Addressing the press yesterday after a meeting with IEBC at Bomas, Orengo said that they have a right to picket and will move on as planned. He added that they will not be blackmailed and can do without travelling to the United States.
“We are not going to be blackmailed. We are not very enthusiastic about going to the united States of America. The diplomats have overstepped its mandate, our sovereignty cannot be surrendered to anyone,” he said, also mentioning hurricanes and mass shootings as some of the reasons US is unsafe.
“We are taken aback by utterances by the diplomatic community. They too have issues from their mother countries to deal with. America also has its own problems.”
On their meeting with the IEBC, Orengo said that it was not fruitful.
“None of the issues we raised as irreducible minimums have been met or responded to so we left without agreeing,” he said. “There should be an audit to ensure security and integrity of the technology to be deployed. IEBC is not clear on this.”
The senator reiterated that all their demands must be fulfilled.
“We insist that our demands must be met for purposes of ensuring the election is held according to the constitution… They should consider these issues seriously so we don’t have further engagement on the same matters.”
Meanwhile, Deputy President William Ruto also led the Jubilee delegation to Bomas. Accompanying him were the two majority leaders, Aden Duale and Kipchumba Murkomen, as well was Jubilee party secretary general Raphael Tuju.
On their part, Ruto stated that they were largely satisfied and had been assured that the election will proceed as scheduled on October 26. He also revealed that Jubilee is in the process of recruiting agents for each and every polling station.
“The commission also told us staff training is ongoing around the country. On the issue of agents we have told them we are in the process of completing the selection of 41,000 who will assist us in monitoring.”
On the envoys’ statement, Ruto stated that Jubilee has no demands that must be fulfilled for there to be an election. He said that the proposed amendments to the election law are not a ‘pre-condition’, and that IEBC is free to engage parliament on what they think should or should not be included.
“We have confidence in men and women at the commission. Regarding amendments to election laws, Parliament is an independent institution, just as the commission is, so they can directly engage on what they want added or removed.” he said.
“This is not a condition. Our competitors have about 120 MPs in the National Assembly…they can use their numbers to debate on the law. The people of Kenya elected able and intelligent leaders who should debate responsibly.”
“I want to categorically state that we have assured the commission we have no conditions…we have no minimum conditions or minimum irreducibles…we are ready for the election,” the DP added.