Rift and Nyanza politicians criticise Raila's anti-government marches

Azimio la Umoja Party leader, Raila Odinga in Nakuru County.

Azimio la Umoja Party leader, Raila Odinga addresses his supporters who braved the heavy rains at Mazembe grounds in Kaptembwa, Nakuru Town West on March 16, 2023. 

Photo credit: John Njoroge | Nation Media Group

As Kenyans brace themselves for tomorrow’s demonstrations, a feeling of consternation is growing in businesses.

With fears that Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition supporters may resort to chaos, some parents are considering not taking their children back to school tomorrow after the mid-term break that ends today as per the Ministry of Education calendar.
Some businesses are also planning to shut down on Monday.

There were calls for dialogue yesterday, even as many politicians criticised Azimio leader Raila Odinga over the mass action plan.

Kericho Governor Erick Mutai, and MPs Nelson Koech (Belgut), Francis Sigei (Sotik), Richard Yegon (Bomet East), Victor Koech (Chepalungu), Richard Kilel (Bomet East) and Joseph Cherorot (Kipkelion East) asked the government to deal with Mr Odinga “decisively” and hold him liable for any loss or damage of property during the protests. 

They added that the government is too lenient on leaders “seeking to cause chaos”.

Dr Mutai said Mr Odinga is living in denial after losing the presidential election in August last year and wants to be in government.

“He should wake up to the reality that Dr William Ruto defeated him in the presidential election. To imagine that he can storm State House with his supporters and take charge of the country is pushing his luck too far,” the governor said.
Said Mr Nelson Koech: “He will not force his way into the government.

Mr Yegon told the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition leader to take a political backseat “and stop putting the country in unending election mode”.

“He is endangering the lives of the demonstrators. That is criminal,” Mr Sigei said.

For Mr Victor Koech, six months in office is a very short time to fix the socioeconomic and political challenges facing the country.

“Azimio leaders’ children should be on the frontline of the demonstrations. They should not take advantage of jobless young people,” Mr Kilel said.

Contribution to problems

Mr Cherorot said the opposition contributed to the problems facing the country.

They messed up the Jubilee administration’s development and economic agenda,” the Kipkelion East MP said.
In Kisumu, former councillors cautioned residents against taking to the streets, saying young people are being misused by selfish politicians.

The ex-councillors chairman, Joseph Ogut, said the protests could lead to chaos and loss of lives.
“Going to the streets will not solve anything,” he said.

The more than 20 leaders drawn from Kisumu, Homa Bay, Migori and Siaya counties promised to work with President Ruto and ensure the region “is not left behind in development”.

Also up in arms were United Democratic Alliance (UDA) leaders from Homa Bay and Kisumu counties, who accused Mr Odinga of harbouring a grudge against the President.

UDA Kisumu Coordinator, Luke Kirindo, the ODM leader is piling pressure on the government “yet he kept quiet when things were going wrong during President Uhuru Kenyatta’s second term”.

“He should parade bring his children and family to the demos if we are to take him seriously,” he said.
His colleague from Homa Bay, Odek Odek, said the protests would sideline the region.

“He worked with presidents Moi, Kibaki and Kenyatta but has nothing to show for it,” he said. 


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