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Raila to lead parallel Madaraka Day fete at Uhuru Park

Opposition chiefs will lead their supporters in a parallel Madaraka Day rally on June 1.

Siaya Senator James Orengo on Wednesday said Cord was in discussions with the Nairobi county government to organise the event.

“Nothing stops us from celebrating the day. It will be part of our broader agitation for reforms in Kenya. The day is about celebrating civil liberties and freedom, and reaffirms the quest for the constitutionalism we hold dearly,” said Mr Orengo.

Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero was elected on an ODM ticket and would be required to support the event.

President Uhuru Kenyatta will be at Afraha Stadium, Nakuru, to lead the country in commemorating 53 years of internal rule.

The opposition leaders have written to Nairobi Police Commander Japheth Koome notifying him of the intention to hold the rally.

The past four weeks have seen opposition supporters march on the streets in protests to force out of office the officials of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, whom they accuse of bias.

Security forces will be on alert during the rally.

Their main concern is the proximity of Uhuru Park to Anniversary Towers, the seat of the electoral agency.

It would also be interesting to see the protocol adopted in such a meeting because, ideally, the governor should read the President’s speech.

Being an opposition event, they could still choose to invent rules and have Cord principals Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetang’ula speak last.

Cord secretariat head Norman Magaya said the three leaders would attend the celebrations.

This will not be the first time the opposition will be doing this.

In 1999, 52 MPs and their supporters went to Kamukunji grounds to mark Jamhuri Day while President Daniel arap Moi led the country in celebrating the official one at Nyayo Stadium.