Ruto dares Raila to lead demos

President William Ruto and Azimio la Umoja leader Raila Odinga. [File, Standard]

President William Ruto has assured Kenyans that police will protect property and lives in the event the Opposition makes good its threats to hold protests.

The President said he had asked Interior Cabinet Secretary Kindiki Kithure to demand the schedule of the protests so that police can deployed to protect businesses against looting during the mass action.

Azimio leader Raila Odinga has called for public engagement meetings in Nairobi to oppose plans by the Kenya Kwanza administration to kick out four electoral commissioners.

“We know them, they are not new to us. They don’t want us to revive our economy because they are used to riding on poverty,” Ruto said.

Speaking during a thanksgiving service organised by churches in Embu yesterday, Ruto said they won’t blackmailed by the opposition to abandon their mandate to serve the electorate.

The President was reacting to remarks by a section of leaders including Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, who accused Raila of using the planned protests to force a handshake with the Kenya Kwanza government.

“Mt Kenya region has contributed largely to your government and we shall not allow the handshake. It (handshake) was a bad experience since the economic mess the country is facing is as a result of it,” said Gachagua.

National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichungwa defended MPs decision to approve the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee report on petitions against the ‘Cherera Four’ that saw the President appoint a tribunal to investigate them.

“We followed our constitutional mandate to oust the commissioners and due procedure was followed. What they committed was treasonable as it could burn the country,” said Ichungwah.

The MP added: “I urge the remaining three to resign to spare taxers money and time to investigate them.”

He called on Kenyans to keep off the planned protests set to begin on Wednesday. 

“We want to see their children on the fore front during the protests. Let them stop misusing our children while they nominate theirs when a slot comes knocking,” Ichungwa said in relation to Raila and Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka’s children who were recently nominated to the East African Legislative Assembly (Eala).

The DP used the opportunity to quell the discontent in Mt Kenya over the Eala nominations.

“There is no issue in Mt Kenya. There is no memorandum of understanding between us and you. There is no condition. We trusted you and you trusted us and there is no rift between us,” he said.

The DP promised to initiate dialogue between the embattled Meru Governor Kawira Mwangaza and Members of County Assembly who have vowed to impeach her even after seeking leave from the courts.