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Nasa plans boycott of goods in protest over repeat polls

Nasa leaders from left: Musalia Mudavadi, Raila Odinga and Moses Wetangula at Uhuru Park on October 25, 2017 where they called on their supporters not to participate in tomorrow's election. Photo | Jeff Angote | Nairobi
Nasa leaders from left: Musalia Mudavadi, Raila Odinga and Moses Wetangula at Uhuru Park on October 25, 2017 where they called on their supporters not to participate in Thursday's election. Photo | Jeff Angote | Nairobi 

Nasa leader Raila Odinga on Wednesday called on his supporters to boycott goods of those affiliated to the ruling Jubilee coalition.

He said the economic boycott call is the product of the push to hold the repeat presidential election despite concerns from the Opposition that the IEBC failed to institute reforms for a free and fair vote.

The presidential candidate, who withdrew from the repeat poll, asked his charged supporters to stay away from polling stations Thursday.

Mr Odinga reiterated the boycott threat saying there are many ways to push for reforms as the prolonged electioneering and tension over the repeat poll continues to slow down businesses, setting the stage for job cuts.

“Boycott the goods and services offered by businesses for whose benefit dictatorship is being established,” he told supporters without giving details.

“From today we are transforming the Nasa coalition into a resistance movement. We call upon our supporters not to vote and to convince their neighbours not to take part in the poll because it is a Jubilee election,” Mr Odinga said before a cheering crowd of thousands of people at Uhuru Park in Nairobi.

The Opposition wants new elections held within 90 days, he said. Mr Odinga said the Nasa movement will make public the names of companies which benefit from the government, on a weekly basis, until its impact is felt.

“After October 27, when we declare do not purchase a particular newspaper brand you shall comply, when we say do not watch a certain TV station you should oblige, when we say do not use a particular phone, you should also oblige..,” he said.

The standoff between the Opposition and Jubilee has frightened investors and is slowing growth. Sales for businesses have been falling since June, says a monthly output report by Stanbic Bank.

Last month Kenya lowered its 2017 economic growth forecast to 5.5 from an initial 5.9 per cent due to drought and political uncertainty.

On Wednesday, Mr Odinga said Nasa will embark on a national campaign of defiance of illegitimate governmental authority and non-cooperation with all its organs. “We shall convene a people’s assembly for the purpose of charting our way back to constitutionalism and democracy,” he said.

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