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Recent statistics show that Prime Minister Raila Odinga will take almost all counties in North and Upper Eastern Counties come the 2013 General Election. Because the people of North Eastern, Upper Eastern and Tana Delta are mainly Muslims, delegates from the region have not hidden their preferred candidate at the Naivasha ODM retreat meeting. They say they are overwhelmingly rallying behind Raila Odinga beacuse of an un-finished promise to address issues close to their heart.
Some of the delegates say they supported Raila for the same reason they voted against the proposed Constitution in 2010 referendum because Raila was at the forefront and a cornerstone in the Fight for the Kadhi Court during the Constitution. During the Referendum, The Court was almost removed from the Constitution and many Muslim MP's particularly Najib Balala was conspicously silent on the Kadhi Court. It was becoming increasingly clear that the highly emotive issue of the Kadhi's courts could have been the red herring in the country's quest to realize the new constitution. Barely a day after Prime Minister Raila Odinga declared his support for the retention of the courts in the constitution, a group of evangelical Christians have accused the Prime Minister who has voiced support for the Kadhi courts of allegedly campaigning for Muslim votes ahead of 2012.
The Christian leaders vowed to mobilize their followers to reject the draft constitution should the Kadhi courts be retained. The Anglican Church of Kenya, NCCK had joined the number of Christians groups calling for the removal of the provision for the Kadhi courts in the constitution. According to the church the inclusion of the courts would be tantamount to placing one religion above the rest. A three-judge bench had declared the inclusion of Kadhis courts in the current Constitution illegal and discriminatory. Justices Joseph Nyamu, Mathew Emukule and Roseline Wendo ruled that having the courts in the constitution amounted to elevating Islam over other religions. They also took issue with funding of Kadhis courts from public coffers. This was a deliberate attempts and it was Raila who stood with the Muslims at that critical time.
Thus, Delegates from upper part of Eastern and North Eastern Province (NEP) say they support Raila because he has these other credentials which others in the Presidential race lack. PM is seeking the muslim support as he builds up his presidential campaign for the next general elections. Raila while addressing a Muslim gathering in Mombasa sold his bid to Muslims citing that he spearheaded the inclusion of Kadhi courts to the new constitution as part of the said MOU between him and the Muslim voters.
2. Raila alipeana 3-4 assistant Ministers wakiwa either wasomali, waborana or kwa jumla waislamu. The Other "loaf" tumepata nini.
3. Raila was instrumental in opening the Ifo 2Camp during the Droughts and Famine Last year. He even cried on seeing people wakiwa hali mbaya in the Refugee camp. Atleast someone amijitolea kufika na kuona shida zako. Wengine walikuwa wakiangalia kwa Flat Screen Nairobi. He even helped advocacy work to help the Somali refugees and Turkana people in the North during the Famine
4. Raila's office even has a Somali PS, An Administration officer while the rest hata hawana msomali hata moja...That shows anawadhamini....atleast
6. During the Nominated MP's time, alipeeana 2, One for MP Sofia and MP Sheikh Dor wote wakiwa waislamu.
7. Wagalla Massacre, Indemnity act, Garissa Gubaay amesema lazima zote zi sotiwe and Much more.Prime Minister Raila Odinga has instructed the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission to thoroughly investigate the infamous 1984 Wagalla Massacre on several occasions notably at the 27th anniversary of the massacre. He announced that he will convince President Mwai Kibaki to sign into law the Indemnity (Repeal) Bill, which was also passed by parliament, to facilitate the lifting of the blanket immunity security forces, including those behind the Wagalla Massacre, have been enjoying since 1972.
Often, the PM has pledged to protect Muslims from harassment should he win the presidency and that is already seen. Raila from time to time has also promised to address the thorny issue of land. With that assurance at heart, delegates from NEP have decided to vote for Raila come 2013. To bag the Muslim vote from the region, the ODM presidential candidate has reportedly entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Muslim organisations led by the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya (CIPK) and National Muslim Leaders Forum who have endorsed his candidature.
Sheikh Mohamed Khalifa, the organising secretary of CIPK confirmed the group will meet Raila a few days before the D-day. One of the issues on the MOU would look at is the assurance Muslims would be protected, especially in the face of war on terrorism. The Terrorism Bill has already been passed after a lot of adjustments.
Terrorism a big issue
Terrorism affects everyone and it is the duty of Muslims to help fight it off. That was Raila's message when Muslim Leaders went to have a word with him at his office recently. Analysts say NEP Muslims feel they have been targeted by Kibaki administration and the US in the joint war against terror. A number of Kenyans, have been whisked to Ethiopia and Guantamano Bay by Government due to pressure from US Government.
‘The Government was forced by the US to publish the Anti-Terrorism Bill. Even though Parliament had passed it, the Government should not use the bill and it's contents to deny Muslims their fundamental rights,’’ say One Muslim delegate from Garissa while stressing the importance of the Government to uphold human rights and cease to abuse the rights of Kenyans of Somali and Swahili origin by labelling them terrorists or collaborators and handing them over to foreign countries illegally. .
‘‘We do not condone terrorism. We want our Government to take suspects to Kenyan courts. Those found guilty should be punished accordingly. But we have failed to get this under Kibaki,’’ says a delegate.
Going by all Raila has done for Muslims, in addressing issues close to their heart, Most of the delegates were of the opinion that under an ODM government led by Raila, Muslims rights will not be trampled upon because he believes in reforms. During his acceptance speech, Raila echoed what the leaders from the region stated.