Raila: Biden invited me to US, I was not intimidated over Jamhuri Day rally

Raila Odinga Joe Biden meeting together

Then Prime Minister Raila Odinga meets US Vice President Joe Biden at the White House. 

Photo credit: File

Azimio la Umoja leader Raila Odinga says a parallel rally scheduled for Jamhuri Day on December 12 was cancelled because he is going to the US, adding that he has not been threatened by anyone.

Speaking in Tana River County on Friday where he closed the three-day Jumuiya Agribusiness and Blue Economy Investment meeting, Mr Odinga dismissed claims that he was intimidated by the government to cancel the parallel rally that was to take place at Kamkunji Grounds, Nairobi, on Monday next week.

He said US President Joe Biden invited him to the country as the African Union Special Representative.

"The meeting that we were supposed to have next week has been postponed because I will not be present, not because we fear anybody. I want Kenyans to understand that I cannot be intimidated and I do not fear anything because we won the elections," he said.

He added: "We had an agenda for this country, but the devil intercepted it midway. But we must remain optimistic because the God we believe in will intervene," he said.

He reiterated that he will be among 46 officials invited to discuss relations between Africa and the US. 

He said that as the AU Representative for Infrastructure Development, he will ensure that the coast region's infrastructure is opened to the East African region to boost its economy.

He also appealed to investors interested in the region's blue economy to invest in constructing cold storage plants as well as dock fishing ship lines.

30 days of anti-Ruto protests

The Azimio leader launched a resistance against President William Ruto’s administration that is expected to run for 30 days, before which he is expected to make a final declaration.

The Azimio coalition’s top decision-making organ — The Council, chaired by former President Uhuru Kenyatta — had sanctioned the meetings.

On Wednesday, Azimio leaders including Martha Karua, Kalonzo Musyoka, Wycliffe Oparanya, Eugene Wamalwa and Edwin Sifuna began with a meeting at Kamukunji Grounds in Nairobi. 

Raila Odinga

Azimio leader Raila Odinga arrives at the historic Kamukunji grounds in Nairobi for a public consultative forum.

Photo credit: Dennis Onsongo | Nation Media Group

At the consultative forum, the leaders resolved that the Ruto-led administration should be pressured to institute measures to reduce the cost of basic commodities, particularly by restoring subsidies of maize flour, fuel, school fees and electricity beginning January 2023, “failure to which Kenyans will be free to take such steps as they may deem fit to ease the burden of the yoke upon their shoulders”.