Azimio mass action: Are protests the way to go?

Protesters light a bonfire in Kisumu on Monday, March 20, 2023. [Michael Mute, Standard]

The mass protests organised by Azimio Leaders Raila Odinga and Martha Karua started on Monday, March 20. According to them, the protest is intended to call attention to President William Samoei Ruto's administration's high cost of living, rigged elections, and one-tribe rule.

William Ruto was declared the President-elect by retired IEBC Chair Wafula Chebukati on August 15, 2022, a declaration that was opposed by the Azimio La Umoja team, which refused the results and filed a petition at the Supreme Court protesting election fraud and assuring Kenyans that they would accept the court ruling.

On September 5, 2022, the Supreme Court upheld President Ruto's election as Kenya's duly elected President, a move that Azimio leaders protested, saying they accepted the ruling but had some reservations.

It has only been six months since Azimio Leaders issued a statement accepting the Supreme Court ruling despite their reservations about how the ruling was carried out. Kenyans are dissatisfied with the Ruto administration, which appears to be serving them with lip service while forcing them to dig deeper into their pockets due to what they claim are high taxes imposed on commodities and the removal of subsidies on items, making life unbearable.

This government has yet to fulfil their promises to Kenyans who are eagerly awaiting the much-anticipated change in their livelihoods. Will this become a reality soon, or should they look for alternatives?

Are Kenyans willing to wait for Ruto's administration to fulfil their promises, or will they join the Azimio La Umoja weekly protests as a means of forcing the government to do so?

Is a protest the best solution, or are there other options, such as negotiations and dialogues, that can be explored in order to find a solution to Kenyans' demands?

If the Azimio la Umoja camp is serious about solving the problems confronting citizens, are there measures that can be exhausted within themselves to alleviate their burden rather than exposing them to unpredictable weather patterns spanning heavy rains and hot sunshine?

Kenyans have matured and are now displaying political maturity when it comes to following instructions from politicians who betrayed them during the previous picketing, which resulted in the deaths of thousands of youths, only to benefit the same politicians and their families while they are forced to forge ahead with their lives.

The majority of people have hinted on numerous occasions that politicians should engage in conflict on their own until an amicable solution is reached rather than exposing the defenseless and hardworking citizens.

Campaigns are long gone and there is a new government in place which should be allowed to work and be held accountable for their shortcomings without disrupting Kenyans' daily activities and coping mechanisms with the current state of the Nation.

Azimio leaders should change tact and come up with alternative measures of addressing their grievances if indeed they care about Kenyans.

A Kenyan should never die while protesting in the streets again.