Azimio coalition leader Raila Odinga is set to hold a rally against President William Ruto’s administration in Nairobi’s Central Business District (CBD) on Wednesday, with tirade against the electoral agency and the high cost of living expected to take centre stage.

Even though the meeting at Jevanjee Gardens has been touted as a prayer rally, Nation.Africa has established that Mr Odinga will use it to set the stage for a major push for an overhaul of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), protests over the high cost of living and “inadequate measures by the government to address the drought in the country”.

Mr Odinga, who initially announced that the prayers would take place at IEBC’s offices at Anniversary Towers, is demanding that the entire infrastructure and records of the 2022 election be made public, and that all stakeholders get involved in the reconstitution of the body.

“It will be a major interdenominational prayer rally involving all faiths. Anybody who thinks he has faith anywhere is invited to the meeting [sic],” Mr Junet Mohammed, secretary-general of the Azimio La Umoja-One Kenya Coalition told Nation.Africa.

The coalition is expected to turn the heat on IEBC chief executive Marjan Hussein Marjan in the coming weeks, following the exit of chairman Wafula Chebukati and commissioners Abdi Guliye and Boya Molu.

Mr Odinga believes the three, together with Mr Marjan and other members of the IEBC secretariat, were responsible for the “rigging of the August 9, 2022 elections.”

The ODM leaders’ fresh onslaught against the commission rekindles memories of his protests in the past, which were met by heavy police resistance.

The catfights pitting Mr Odinga against the electoral agency are not new, with insiders at the IEBC implying they could have played out against him in the past elections, including the one held in 2022.

Mr Odinga, who unsuccessfully ran for the country’s top seat for the fifth time last year, has not had a rosy relationship with the commission since the 2013 polls.

In the run up to last year’s polls, the politician, backed by former president Uhuru Kenyatta, unsuccessfully attempted to kick out Mr Chebukati’s team through the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) constitutional amendment Bill.

Referring to the BBI, which was halted by the courts for being unconstitutional, Mr Guliye suggested the commission’s acrimony with the proponents of the initiative, even as he appeared to celebrate its failure.

He said that together with former chairman Mr Chebukati and Mr Molu, they weathered many storms at the commission in their six-year stint, including attempts by Mr Odinga’s team to eject them from the agency.

“You all remember the irreducible minimums. I was number one on the list of the people to go,” Prof Guliye said.

He was referring to anti-IEBC protests by Mr Odinga’s National Super Alliance (Nasa), following the disputed August 8, 2017 presidential election, and his subsequent withdrawal from the repeat October 26, 2017 presidential election on the claim that the commission lacked merit to organise a credible poll.

Prof Guliye also celebrated that attempts to clear the entire commission through the BBI flopped.

“You also recall the clean slate slogan in the BBI – meaning clearing the entire IEBC commission. Of course it didn’t come to pass,” Prof Guliye jibed.

It remains unclear whether Mr Odinga’s fresh attack will bear fruits.

By Nation

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