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100 MPs sign up to support Raila oathing.

Over 120 MPs have signed up recognising Raila Odinga as the duly elected People's President and backing the National Constituent Assembly even as the Attorney General yesterday filed an petition in the High Court challenging its constitutionality.

Only 34 members of NASA's 154 legislators in both the National Assembly and Senate are yet to enlist or have refused to sign the controversial affidavit championed by Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala.

Among those who haven't signed, some still claim to support the NASA chief's swearing-in but are opposed to the signing.

Malala has been on an offensive to test the commitment of the MPS and says he will name and shame those who shall not have signed the affidavit by end of today.

Terming the 15 Assemblies so far established as 'an illegality', AG Githu Muigai wants the court to urgently hear the petition because 'there is an ongoing violation of the Constitution and the spending of public resources on unlawful activities.'

An affidavit filed by Deputy Chief State Counsel Charles Mutinda says the Assemblies are 'unconstitutional activities contrary to the Constitution and the Public Finance Management Act'.

He said they raise 'a substantial question of law which is of great public importance'

The 15 county assemblies that have passed the People's Assembly motions between November 8 and December 6 last year are Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi, Mandera, Kitui, Machakos, Makueni, Kakamega, Vihiga, Bungoma, Busia, Siaya, Kisumu, Homa Bay and Migori.

The Council of Governors has been cited as an interested party.

But as the state responds to NASA activities, Uhuru Park, the venue for the planned swearing-in has reliably been booked for a parallel event - the signing exercise has also triggered friction in the Opposition coalition a week to the ceremony next Tuesday.

Lawmakers who have not signed the affidavit include National Assembly Deputy Minority Leader Robert Mbui, South Mugirango MP Sylvanus Osoro, Kitutu Chache MP Richard Onyonka and Luanda MP Christopher Omulele.

Omulele termed Malala and nominated MP Godfrey Osotsi as 'jokers' who are using the affidavit drive for political mileage.

'My leader is Raila. I don't need to swear an affidavit before some ANC members who were fighting Raila up to the last moment. In the IEBC record, I am one of the proposers for Raila to be PresidentI believe in Raila and I have never supported any presidential candidate even when Musalia was on the ballot,' Omulele told the Star.

Osoro also vowed he will not sign the affidavit, calling the Kakamega Senator an attention-seeker who is using opposition MPs for selfish reasons.

'I haven't got details from my party leadership, I cannot be called upon by a senator of a certain party within our coalition to tell me to sign the affidavit,' Osoro told the Star on the phone.

'I will not sign because Malala cannot call upon me to sign an affidavit. It needs to be a coalition position. If Baba says I sign, I will, not Malala,' he said. Am not answerable to Malala or any other Senator or leader of my caliber.'

Onyonka who broke ranks with his opposition colleagues early this year when he publicly confessed President Uhuru won fair and square has also not signed.

Sources told the Star he is one of the MPs who are leading the anti-affidavit campaign within the Opposition circle.

ANC Secretary General Barack Muluka dismissed the affidavit push as blackmail, saying the document has a "sinister motive and intent".

'Needless to say, there is divergence on this matter even within NASA. Those who refuse or fail to sign will be declared to be moles, traitors, quislings, turncoats and abracadabra,' argued Muluka in his Sunday column.

Osotsi however expressed confidence that all the legislators will sign the document, terming those who are dismissing it as moles who dine with Jubilee.

'We are over 120 so far, short of 34 but we will get them before the end of the day,' ANC nominated MP Godfrey Osotsi said. 'We will use the list to petition the international community and draw their attention to the fact that things are not okay.'

The Opposition was supposed to publish the names yesterday but pushed it to Wednesday in what organisers say is to allow more time for members to sign.

'We have given them up to Tuesday evening to make sure they sign. Then on Wednesday, we will have a list of shame,' Malala insisted.

The senator encouraged Opposition leaders to walk the talk by appending their signatures in support of Raila's inauguration.

The Star has also established that whereas some MPs have not signed the three-page document due to ill-health, others are not comfortable with the whole idea fearing it will lead to bloodshed and even death.

One such case is Kathiani MP, Robert Mbui, who is yet to sign due to ill health. The deputy leader of the Minority in the National Assembly had to undergo surgery after suffering a broken leg during police confrontation with NASA supporters last year.

'The affidavit is a very good idea. It is not a party position but an initiative kicked off by some enterprising members of our coalition,' he explained. 'It is basically meant to prove that NASA MPs and governors support the swearing-in of the people's President and his deputy,' Mbui told the Star.

'My support for the swearing in is not in any doubt. Unfortunately, I have been unavailable to sign because of my mobility-related issues. I will definitely sign it,' he added.

The Opposition has dismissed Attorney General Githu Muigai's warning that taking, participating in or facilitating a presidential oath is treason punishable by death.

They have vowed that they will use the annulled August 8 presidential election, which they claim they won, to swear in Raila and Kalonzo as the People's President and deputy.

The affidavit calls for among other things non-recognition of Uhuru Kenyatta's presidency and the October 26 repeat presidential polls.

'I recognise the Rt Hon Raila Odinga as the People's President of the Republic of Kenya, having been duly elected by the people of Kenya on August 8, 2017,' reads part of the NASA affidavit.
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Publication:The Star (Nairobi, Kenya)
Date:Jan 23, 2018
Words:1169
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