NAIROBI – Kenya’s opposition coalition has asked supporters to boycott three big companies it says benefit from ties to the government of President Uhuru Kenyatta, who won last week’s repeat election after an opposition boycott.
Wearing hats embroidered “RESISTANCE”, and speaking against a backdrop showing a clenched fist, members of parliament gave their supporters a week’s notice to stop using products from telecoms giant Safaricom, dairy products from Brookside and Bidco cooking oils.
“We are calling for a boycott that will be painful, a boycott that will bring these companies to their knees until they stand for electoral justice,” said Nakara Lodep, Turkana central lawmaker.
Opposition leader Raila Odinga has called for a “National Resistance Movement” to protest the outcome of the repeat election, which was ordered by the Supreme Court after it annulled the results of an August poll over procedural irregularities.
President Uhuru Kenyatta won a second, five-year term with 98 percent of the vote after Odinga boycotted the contest. Only 39 percent of registered voters took part.
Lawmakers said Safaricom was targeted because it had helped transmit election results. Brookside Dairy is partly owned by Kenyatta’s family and partly by French dairy giant Danone.
A spokesman for Safaricom said the company had no immediate comment. Brookside and Bidco did not return messages seeking comment.
Odinga has until Monday to file a Supreme Court case seeking to overturn the election. If there are no outstanding legal proceedings, Kenyatta will be inaugurated on Nov. 14.