‘State House has been converted to Shakahola annex’ – Raila

Monday, May 1st, 2023 16:55 | By
Azimio la Umoja leader Raila Odinga.
Azimio la Umoja leader Raila Odinga. PHOTO/Njenga Kung'u
Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya coalition party leader Raila Odinga has accused President William Ruto's administration of converting the State House into a 'Shakahola annex'. In a statement on May 1, 2023, Raila accused Ruto of associating with controversial preachers who exhibited signs of running cult movements to the extend of conning Kenyans. "Mr Ruto is as much a suspect as is all the cult pastors from Shakahola and beyond. He owes the people of Kenya an explanation before he purports to be trying to solve the problem. The so-called pastors are the people who set up the so-called sanctuary at Ruto's former official residence in Karen as the deputy president. They did not stop there. These so-called pastors proceeded to deliver prophesies and promise miracles about how Ruto would perform as president," Raila said. "These cultic pastors were among the people who supposedly sanctified State House when Ruto arrived there, pretending to be holier than every other Kenyan. They proceeded to prophesy how great his regime would be. These so-called pastors have organized mega prayer rallies, attended by so-called prayer warriors that include Mr Ruto, Mr Rigathi Gachagua and their spouses, supposedly to sanctify the land. They ended up defiling the land. These so-called pastors aided the introduction of mandatory fasting that started in 2015 at the DP's residence in Karen and which have been carried over to State House where everyone is compelled to fast every Wednesday regardless of their faith, effectively making State House essentially a Shakahola annex." According to the opposition leader, the cult leaders are behind the decision by Ruto to establish a Faith Diplomacy office which allegedly hired 100 members to be recruited into Public Service Commission as intercessors supposedly to pray for counties and the government. "Nobody knows the identity, the qualifications of the so-called intercessors, how they were identified and where they fit in a government where religion and state are separate entities," Raila added. Raila also faulted the President for planning to set up a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to probe the Shakahola cult deaths, terming it as unconstitutional. Raila said that only the Judiciary and the Parliament can form commissions of inquiry according to the law and that the President does not have such powers. "Ruto does not seem to know that the concept of a Judicial Commission of Inquiry appointment by a President is unconstitutional in Kenya since 2010. Under the 2010 Constitution and its entrenchment of Separation of Powers, the exercise of judicial power is only as provided by Article 1 and Chapter 10 which provide as follows: The people have delegated their sovereignty of judicial power to only the Judiciary and Independent tribunals established under the Constitution. Only Parliament can establish a subordinate court or an independent tribunal through an Act of Parliament," Raila said. "Only Parliament can determine the jurisdiction and functions of a court or independent tribunal. It is also now the law as determined by our courts that only the Judicial Service Commission can determine who would be employed to serve in such a tribunal. Indeed, Section 13 of the Commissions of Inquiry Act is very clear that an inquiry shall be deemed to be a judicial proceeding. This makes it an absolute preserve of the Judiciary under our Constitution. A president no longer has power to make any decision on the constitution of a court or an independent tribunal nor who sits in judgment in such court or independent tribunal. Yet again, Ruto is trying to undermine and overthrow the constitution." Instead, Raila has called on the Parliament to come up with a select committee to investigate cult activities in the country and the abuse of religion for political gain. "Parliament must help us establish whether the deaths at Shakahola were acts of rogue pastors, human sacrifices or body organ trade and who the beneficiaries were. The DCI may have swung into action late, but since they did, they have been doing a great job in Shakahola. They should be allowed to do their job without interference. The current blanket restrictions placed on independent observers, including the media and civil society must be lifted. The State must give the media full access to the scene of crime and various aspects of the investigation," he added.

Raila on demos

On demos, Raila said that the anti-government protests will kick off on Tuesday, May 2, 2023 at 6.00 am despite the police terming it as illegal. "As we said yesterday, we shall present a petition to IEBC, the Office the President, the National Treasury and the Public Service Commission. We repeat that the only violence and destruction of property that have taken place during our activities are when police invade our marches and when Gachagua hired goons to invade the Kenyatta family farm and stole sheep and cut down trees. It is instructive that to date, nobody has been arrested over that invasion of the farm. Nobody has been arrested over the destruction of Spectre International factory by goons hired by the same Gachagua. The state cannot purport to ban our activities on grounds that it is protecting public property while at the same time sponsoring the destruction of property in another corner of the city," he said.    

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