Odinga proposes ‘people’s assembly’ after supporters attacked journalist

Kenya opposition leader Raila Odinga said on Tuesday he would use pickets and petitions to protest last week’s presidential poll and convene a “People’s Assembly” to try to improve governance but made no mention of challenging the result.

“We will guard our right to dissent by exercising it,” Odinga said in a long-awaited television address. He emphasized that he wanted to limit his protests to well-recognised, legal avenues.

 

Mr Odinga boycotted the re-run of the presidential election last week because he said no reforms had been made to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) after the Supreme Court found irregularities and illegalities in the original poll.

 

Mr Odinga also took a stab at Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who won last week’s poll with 98% of the vote, and Deputy President William Ruto, saying: “We will not allow two megalomaniacs to destroy freedom and democracy.”

Journalists Attacked at The Opposition Headquarter

Earlier, Raila Odinga speech was delayed after his supporters attacked two local journalists inside party headquarters.

Journalists walked out en masse after veteran political journalist Francis Gachuri and 25-year-old television journalist Jane Gatwiri were assaulted while waiting for Odinga to speak.

“We heard in Swahili, ‘Citizen (TV) must leave,’” she said. “When I was trying to record, I got a very hot slap on my face – my right cheek. Someone said I should move, pushed me, my camera was about to be broken.”

Some of Odinga’s supporters have accused Citizen of bias towards Kenyatta after the channel ran a tally of last week’s vote.

Odinga, who has lost his fourth election, was expected to give his first reaction to Kenyatta’s Monday night victory, but delayed a speech planned for Tuesday morning by several hours.

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