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ODM and Wiper movement leaders taken to court

Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga, Wiper Democratic Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka, and Safaricom Limited have been taken to court to account for funds raised to pay striking teachers in 2015.
In a petition filed at the Kisii High Court, human rights Thomson Osoro acting through Rigena Human Rights Watchdog Organisation want the court to issue an order compelling Safaricom Limited to disclose the total amount of money subscribed and contributed to M-Pesa account paybill number 672672.

The petitioners want the Court to issue an order compelling anyone who might have withdrawn the money to deposit all the funds raised to the Covid-19 kitty to buy beds and ventilators for counties to curb the pandemic.

The petitioners told the court that on September 23, 2015 Kalonzo and Raila who were by then the leaders of the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) launched a kitty to enable the public contribute money to cater for teachers’ salary after their employer the Teachers Service Commission stopped paying the teachers who were on strike.

Osoro told the court that the CORD leaders misled their followers including the petitioners to contribute money through M-Pesa paybill number 672672 during a rally at Uhuru Park with the two leaders saying that they had each contributed Sh100 000 in cash towards the kitty to cater for the striking teachers’ salaries which convinced members of the public to contribute.

The petitioners said that it was within the public domain that Kenyan Citizens indeed contributed money through the M-Pesa paybill number 672672 with the full confidence that the Kenyan teachers were to be paid their salaries according to the two leaders for them to go back to class which was in contravention of the 2010 constitution.

“Kalonzo and Raila indeed received the public contributions through the said salary kitty to pay the then striking teachers knowing they had no mandate to pay teachers which is the mandate of the Teachers Service Commission, however up to date they have failed to use the money for the intended purpose as promised to the members of the public,” Osoro told the court.

The petitioners told the court that they are apprehensive that the first, second and third respondents were engaged in a scheme through collision, falsification and forgery to defraud Kenyans for their selfish gains at the expense of the then striking teachers without justification by dealing with specific entities to swindle unsuspecting members of the public.

Osoro argued that Safaricom Limited had failed to disclose the amount of money raised by members of the public through M-Pesa paybill number 672676 which was launched by Raila and Kalonzo who have also failed to account for the money raised six years later.

The petitioner said that Safaricom Limited being the largest telecommunication provider in the country has failed to protect her clients more particularly the citizens of goodwill of Kenya from offensive financial integrity as envisaged under the leadership and integrity of Act of 2012.

“Since Raila and Kalonzo were in a campaign mood they deceived Kenyans of goodwill that they were better placed to assist the then striking teachers which was not the case at all,” Osoro told the court.

The case is set for mention before Justice Anthony Ndungu at the Kisii High Court on September 22 this year.

By Jane Naitore and Clinton Nyamumbo

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