Thousands attend opposition parallel Independence Day event in Kenya

NAIROBI, June 2 (ANA) – Thousands of Kenyans turned up at the Uhuru Park Nairobi on Wednesday to attend a parallel event held by opposition parties to mark Kenya’s 53rd Independence Day.

Led by Opposition CORD party leader Raila Odinga and Moses Wetangula, the event was marked with no drama as was anticipated. Police frisked each person trying to access the venue and remained vigilant throughout the event.

Opposition leaders said that they would maintain their campaign to have the officials of the current electoral body removed from office to pave the way for new officials ahead of the 2017 general election in Kenya.

Addressing thousands of ululating supporters at Uhuru Park, opposition leaders said they would engage the government in dialogue in order to resolve the election body stalemate.

Odinga said that although he was party to those who selected the officials of the current Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC), he was surprised that they had allegedly been involved in corruption.

He said this in reference to the fact that some of the electoral commissioners have been implicated in the so-called “Chicken Gate” scandal that involved a United Kingdom printing firm, Smith and Ouzman, printing the ballot papers in the last general election in 2013.

The scandal resulted in the conviction and imprisonment by a British Court of two directors of Smith and Ouzman for bribing Kenyan election officials. The scandal has since cast doubts on the integrity of the IEBC as an institution and its commissioners to manage elections in Kenya.

– African News Agency (ANA)

Disclaimer: This story is pulled directly from the African News Agency wire, and has not been edited by Mail & Guardian staff. The M&G does not accept responsibility for errors in any statement, quote or extract that may be contained therein.

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