MP Keynan urges Raila to call off demos during Ramadhan

Eldas MP Adan Keynan yesterday.

Photo credit: Edwin Kipsang | Nation Media Group.

Eldas MP Adan Keynan wants the Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Coalition leadership to call off its weekly demonstrations as a show of respect to Muslims observing the holy month of Ramadhan.

In a press statement, Mr Keynan condemned his former coalition’s mass action plans “at a time when the Muslim faithful are fasting during the Holy month of Ramadan.”

“These plans are contemptuous to the Muslim faith and cast Kenya in a negative light to the rest of the world as a country that does not care about the rule of law and religious freedom,” Mr Keynan said.

He added: “Nothing substantial can support the Azimio political strategy of protesting as a solution to the myriad problems the nation is experiencing.”

Mr Keynan, who is the longest-serving MP in the National Assembly, said the Opposition faction “is making a bad situation even worse by inciting unwarranted tension, fomenting violence, sowing discord and promoting hatred.”

He said the Azimio move denigrates civility and imperils the peace and stability of the nation.

“It's about time the Azimio leadership went back to the drawing board, sifted through what they were doing, and scrapped the planned mass action,” the MP said.

Jubilee MP

Mr Keynan, who was elected on a Jubilee Party ticket, said the Muslim community has a right to a peaceful environment during the Ramadhan “as we pray for peace and the unity of the nation, against the backdrop of heightened tension and economic unrest.”

“Azimio should review their course of action, follow President William Ruto's humble call for prayers and abort the mass protest during this sacred month of Ramadhan if they truly have the best interests of the Nation at heart,” Mr Keynan said.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga has called for protests on Mondays and Thursdays to protest over the high cost of living, failure to open the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission servers to audit last year’s presidential elections and a stoppage of IEBC commissioners’ recruitment.

The protests that started on Monday affected the movement of people and goods and hurt businesses.

At least one person was shot dead and others were injured during the protests whose epicentre was Nairobi and Kisumu cities.

Religious leaders have since called for a truce between President Ruto and Mr Odinga but hardliners in their camps have asked them to ignore the calls.

President Ruto and Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua have told off Mr Odinga over the demos, terming them economic sabotage and vowed to ensure stern action to quell them.