Raila: I am friends with the West, they can never sanction me

Raila Odinga

Azimio leader Raila Odinga addresses a rally in Kitale town on February 26, 2023.

Photo credit: Jared Nyataya | Nation Media Group

Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition leader Raila Odinga has dismissed a plan by President William Ruto to have foreign powers sanction him over calls for mass action.

The opposition chief said foreign states have no business meddling in the affairs of a sovereign country like Kenya.

He added that the problems facing the country can only be solved Kenyans themselves and not foreign powers.

“I have heard them say that Baba is causing disruption and that he should not be allowed to travel abroad. I have no interest in travelling there,” he said at a rally in Kitale, Trans Nzoia County.

“Let the foreign countries respect Kenyans. Nobody should interfere with our affairs.”

Mr Odinga said he enjoys cordial relations with many countries.

Lower cost of living

“We are friends with the United Kingdom, the US, China, Ukraine, Russia and all African countries. It is the responsibility of Kenyans to solve their problems,” he said.

Mr Odinga said he would not be intimidated into stopping to push for justice and the well-being of Kenyans by pressing the Kenya Kwanza government to lower the cost of living.

He added that Azimio la Umoja One Kenya would use all legal means to make President Ruto meet Kenyans’ demands.

Mr Odinga was accompanied by Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua, Wiper Party boss Kalonzo Musyoka, Roots Party head George Wajackoyah, Democratic Action Party of Kenya (DAP-K) leader Eugene Wamalwa and former Kakamega governor Wycliffe Oparanya.

Others were National Assembly Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi, Senate Deputy Minority Leader Enoch Wambua, Senate Whip Ledama Olekina and Senators Edwin Sifuna (Nairobi) and Godfrey Osotsi (Vihiga)

Also present were MPs Caleb Amisi (Saboti), Babu Owino (Embakasi East), Samuel Atandi (Alego Usonga), Peter Salasya (Mumias West), Dick Maungu (Luanda) and Kakai Bisau (Kiminini)

“The Constitution allows Kenyans to hold meetings, demos and picket,” Mr Odinga said.

“Our actions will never be against the Constitution. Anything we do after 10 days from today will be within the law.”

Mass action

National Assembly Deputy Majority Leader Owen Baya and other lawmakers allied to the ruling Kenya Kwanza coalition said they would come up with actions they want the US, the UK and other western countries to take against Mr Odinga.

The government wants Mr Odinga banned from travelling to the West if he carries on with his plans for mass action.

Mr Odinga on Wednesday said he would lead protests in 14 days if the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition’s demands for changes in the formula of hiring Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) officials and lowering the cost of living are not honoured by the government.

Yesterday, Ms Karua told the President not to panic and waste time asking foreign countries to sanction opposition leaders.

“If you think that the (IEBC) whistleblower is lying, why can’t you open the election servers? We do not have any interests abroad. Call the foreigners to help you open the servers,” she said.

Mr Musyoka said the Kenya Kwanza coalition is daydreaming if it expects the West to sanction Mr Odinga.