Raila Odinga tells supporters to be ready for protests after failed bipartisan talks

Raila Odinga

 Azimio la Umoja leader Raila Odinga (centre) after a meeting with Luo Council of Elders at Mama Grace Onyango Social Hall in Kisumu recently.

Photo credit: Ondari Ogega I Nation Media Group

Azimio One Kenya Coalition leader Raila Odinga has called on his supporters to come out in large numbers to protest in the streets against President William Ruto's administration. 

He also lashed out at a section of elected leaders from Nyanza accusing them of supporting a regime that is not sympathetic to the suffering of Kenyans. 

According to Mr Odinga, Kenya Kwanza are not sincere in the bi-partisan talks which was to solve various issues raised by the opposition. 

"Out of good heart, we had agreed to sit with them (Kenya Kwanza) but they are not sincere. That is why we have resorted to go back to the streets to protest the government policies that are overburdening Kenyans," said Mr Odinga. 

He maintained that no amount of persuasion, will convince them to resume talks with President Ruto's team. 

"You must be ready to fight for your rights. I will be giving you a signal and tell you when we will resume street demonstrations on July 3," said Mr Odinga. 

Mr Odinga said the Azimio leadership has instructed it's members to vote against the Bill and not accept to be intimidated. 

Mr Odinga continued his verbal attack on Deputy President Mr Rigathi Gachagua saying his sentiments describing Kenya as a company with shareholders was only pushing a dangerous narrative of discrimination. 

"The deputy leader of the Kenya Kwanza regime has been prophesing a theory that Kenya is a corporation. If some Kenyans do not have shares in government, why do you collect taxes from them? Every Kenyan citizen has equal rights and we will not accept this sort of discrimination classifying some people as second class citizens,“ said Mr Odinga. 

His sentiments were supported by the leader of Minority in the National Assembly Mr Opiyo Wandayi who said Azimio gave Kenya Kwanza a chance to talk on the table, but they have not demonstrated goodwill and sincerity.

He indicated that their stand against the proposed Finance Bill was for the benefit of the people and they won't allow 

"On the issue of finance bill, the government either withdraws it or we reject it. If they push it through by force, we will go back to the streets , "said Mr Wandayi.

The two were speaking in Nyahera, Kisumu County during a memorial service of the late Chairman of the Luo Council of elders Mr Opiyo Otondi. 

After carrying out the final funeral rites for Mr Otondi, Mr Odinga said the process to pick a new Ker starts in earnest. 

He pointed out that he wants the Council of Elders to lead the move of preserving the Luo culture among young people. 

"Language is not culture. These young people speak English but do not understand the English culture. We must preserve our culture as a people," said Mr Odinga. 

He indicated that on June 30 and July 1, there will be a Luo cultural festival in Homabay. 

There will be discourses from various genres of Luo music as well as games to cerebrate the luo culture.

All the four Luo Nyanza counties will have cultural centres to signify and celebrate the Luo as a community.