UDA wants Azimio held accountable for damage, property destruction in Monday's protests

National Assembly Majority leader Kimani Ichungwa (centre) flanked by other UDA leaders at Parliament buildings, Nairobi. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

The United Democratic Alliance (UDA)party wants Azimio la Umoja coalition held accountable for damages caused during the Monday protests in the country.

Speaking on Tuesday, March 21, in Nairobi, UDA leaders want Azimio to be fully accountable for the injuries, loss, and damages occasioned by the protesters.

National Assembly Leader of Majority Kimani Ichung’wah has questioned the intention behind the protests, saying they were meant to deviate from actual issues affecting Kenyans.

“The violence, chaos, looting, and destruction are also aimed at distracting the country from investigating the shameless siphoning of public funds, crimes against humanity perpetuated through extra-judicial killings and forced disappearances, abuse of office, and State capture. They will fail, and the truth will be known,” Ichung’wah said in a statement.

“If the government determines that Mr. Odinga is not above the law then it must activate all appropriate mechanisms to bring him to accountability without further delay. Justice must be done.”

The Party’s Secretary-General, Cleophas Malala added that they will write to the Registrar of Political Parties to request that funds meant for the ODM party be withheld, and instead channeled into UDA to pay for the damages.

 “We are writing to the office of the Registrar of Political Parties to withhold the disbursement of funds to ODM party and the same be channeled to UDA to pay for the damage caused to our offices and property in Kisumu by Raila’s supporters yesterday,” Malala said.

The demonstrations that took place yesterday across the country resulted in violent confrontations with authorities and the closure of businesses.

UDA offices in Kisumu were set ablaze including some cars that had been parked in the compound.

Malala has since condemned the looting by protesters on the pretext of “constitutionally protected demonstrations”.

Senate majority leader Aaron Cheruiyot commended the police for managing the crowds.

“We want those looters captured on camera and the leaders who accompanied them in the protest arrested right now and brought to book,” Cheruiyot said.

Odinga and his team were on Monday teargassed by police as he led protests in the city. He at one time took cover in a hotel to evade the police.

After being barred from the city center, Odinga and several Azimo leaders made several stopovers around Nairobi to address residents.

They have vowed to continue weekly demonstrations until their concerns are addressed.