Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja and his Kisumu counterpart Professor Anyang’ Nyong’o have been involved in a bitter exchange of words regarding the Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Coalition demonstrations set for Thursday.
The Kisumu Governor kicked off a storm after announcing the suspension of demonstrations in the lakeside city saying that it would affect businesses and property.
According to Prof Nyong’o, the decision was reached after consultations with the Azimio national leadership.
The governor asked the residents who were willing to take part in demonstrations to do so by joining the leadership in Nairobi City County.
“After wide consultations, I have decided to suspend all the demonstrations in Kisumu so we can join the protests in Nairobi,” Prof Nyong’o said.
But the message did not augur well with Mr Sakaja, who expressed dissatisfaction and asked the Kisumu Governor to “keep demonstrators in your county”.
Preposterous and unacceptable
Governor Sakaja, in a statement, said the idea of his Kisumu counterpart “exporting his demonstrations to Nairobi” and making the capital of demonstrations and its associated mayhem was “preposterous and unacceptable”.
“In the spirit of devolution, I would advise the Governor of Kisumu, Prof Anyang' Nyong'o, to keep his demonstrations to his County,” Governor Sakaja said.
He said that Nairobi had already borne the cost of Azimio demonstrations which disrupted normal operations for two days.
“We've borne the cost of the disruption so far: Nairobians have patiently put up with the disruption, and their taxes have paid for its aftermath.”
During the first protest, Mr Sakaja said the county collected half of its daily revenue, following the closure of shops and businesses.
The governor said that the county collected almost Sh30.3 million on that day, which came from land rates which were transacted on the digital platform.
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua also pleaded with the Azimio leaders to call off their defiance demonstrations, saying that the country lost close to Sh2 billion on the first day of the protests.
Mr Odinga has set several conditions that must be met by the government of President William Ruto before calling off their protests.