SECTIONS

Raila tells hooligans to keep off Azimio rallies

ODM leader Raila Odinga flanked by Jubilee Party secretary General Jeremiah Kioni and Narc Kenya's Martha Karua. [Jenipher Wachie, Standard]

Azimio leader Raila Odinga and his political brigade have hinged their comeback on the audit of President William Ruto’s election promises and the Kenya Kwanza government with planned rallies across the country.

Raila said the first public engagement will be at Kamukunji grounds in Nairobi on Wednesday.

Speaking at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Foundation, Nairobi, Monday, the Azimio leader said he will hold a parallel meeting during Jamhuri Day celebrations on December 12 at Jacaranda Grounds in Embakasi.

“We wish to affirm that the Kamukunji meeting is on as earlier planned. The event is a public consultative forum,” he said.

“On December 12, we are going to Jacaranda Gardens in Embakasi, not Kamukunji. We will be celebrating Jamhuri Day with Kenyan patriots and it is also going to be a peaceful congregation. No protest, no picketing although this is also guaranteed by the Constitution,” he added. 

Speaking in Embu after a church service on Sunday, Ruto urged the opposition leaders to furnish the government with their rally programme so that they can deploy security.

But Raila clarified that his meetings should not be mistaken for demonstrations.

The ODM leader noted that the meetings which are set to kick off on December 7 at Kamukunji grounds in Nairobi have been badly interpreted by some Kenyans.

“If we wanted to do a demonstration or protest, we would just inform the police to provide security and do it, but we are not demonstrating or engaging in any act of thuggery and hooliganism and no property is going to be destroyed,” he stated.

He warned Kenya Kwanza against sponsoring hooligans to disrupt the meetings.

“The government should not use this as an excuse to bring thugs there to try to disrupt this function,” he said.

The Azimio leader was flanked by Narc Kenya party leader Martha Karua, Jubilee Party Secretary General Jeremiah Kioni, and Jubilee Vice Chair David Murathe.

Karua urged Azimio supporters to desist from any act of lawlessness during the meeting.

“We appeal to those attending our meeting to be orderly and peaceful. We are dismayed that those in authority are trying to paint a harrowing movie. Some have already hoped that there will be no death,” she said.

The Narc-Kenya leader said Kenyans have matured enough and they don’t need to be lectured on how to conduct themselves.

“We have just come from a campaign that was so peaceful. There were no ugly incidents. Where on earth do they get the idea that a public meeting will be unruly,” Karua said.

She urged the police to provide enough security during the events.

Mr Murathe urged Kenyans to put the government on its toes to ensure accountability.

“Kenyans should not sit back and watch the country get ruined. The so-called called new kids on the block have been in government there is nothing new. They are just reinstating the old bad days... the era of dictatorship is back. They think they are going to subdue us. We are not going to allow it,” he said.

The Azimio leaders also weighd in on the issue of the four troubled electoral commissioners.

“The consultation will be about the four IEBC commissioners who have been subjected to gross injustices and forced to resign. We are going to remind those in authority that all legislation relating to elections is normally negotiated. The law they are trying to amend was negotiated in 2017,” Karua said.   

“All laws relating to elections and IEBC must be negotiated and must not tolerate skilled partisan legislations trying to introduce a William Ruto Electoral Commission,” she added.

The leaders criticized government appointments claiming that they lacked regional and gender balance.