Raila steps up hunt for Muslim votes
Raila noted many Muslims put their lives on the line in the quest to see Kenyans get a new Constitution.
The PM said he opposes clauses in the draft anti-terrorism Bill that oppresses any community.
“We have been together and we ought to remain united,” Raila said and added, “President Obama of US and I have been branded Muslims for signing pre-election memorandum and agitating for Muslims’ rights.”
Mombasa mayor Ahmed Muhdhar told the PM that no single Muslim leader or organisation “can claim to speak for Muslims” or guarantee electoral votes.
He was taking a swipe at Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya and National Muslim Leaders Forum, which allegedly withdrew support for Raila following sacking of former Tourism minister Najib Balala.
The PM was at Treasury Square in Mombasa to mark end of Ramadhan. He demonstrated ideological, historical, personal and political links with Muslims since independence.
Present at the rally were Cabinet ministers Dan Mwazo and Amason Kingi and MPs Dhadho Godhana, Omar Zonga, Abu Chiaba and Masoud Mwahima.
Move to ODM
Others included nominated MP Rashid Sajjad, former Kisauni legislator Said Hemed and politician Hassan Omar and Islamic priest Sheikh Juma Ngao. UDF politicians Suleyman Shahbal and Muhdhar also attended the meeting leading to speculation on their move to ODM.
After the function, Raila held talks with Shahbal and Coast tycoon Mohamed Jaffer further raising eyebrows.
Analysts indicated that yesterday’s meeting reflected the mayor’s rising stature as a power broker. The mayor was the PM’s host.
“It is true historical injustices have been committed in Kenya but the solution is not secession,” said Raila referring to Mombasa Republican Council’s (MRC) separatist slogans.
The PM noted Coast Province suffered waves of Arab and British colonialism, which was exacerbated by abrogation of independence Constitution. The PM said Kenyatta regime mutilated the “Lancaster Constitution within a year and unleashed forces of underdevelopment.”
He added the first Constitution could have addressed Coast’s problems through decentralisation.
“Change of Constitution led to concentration of all powers in the presidency and Nairobi hence the start of calls for fresh reforms against the Kenyatta regime, which sought to inherit all the powers of the colonial regime,” he said.
The PM observed, “Champions of status quo thrive and are working hard to thwart effective change”.
“They tried to appoint County Commissioners yet governors are there,” said the PM referring to President Kibaki’s unilateral appointment of new officials at county level, which has been overturned by courts.
Raila said Muslim activists have opposed despotism since 1990s and cited example of Abdilatif Abdalla and Prof Al Amin Mazrui.
“Muslims have always been at the forefront fighting for liberation,” he said and named former Kisauni MP Rashid Mzee and former Islamic Party of Kenya official Omar Mwinyi and activist Sheikh Khalid Balala as other reformists.
He said in 1992, his party signed a pre-election pact with defunct Islamic Party of Kenya after it had been denied registration by Moi regime. “Some have accused me of not fulfilling my pre election promises. I have dome my bit and I can prove it,” said Raila, who cited the promulgation of a new Constitution, which he noted include Islamic courts.