Raila insists peaceful mass action to continue as planned

Azimio la Umoja One-Kenya leader Raila Odinga arrives for a service at Jesus Teaching Ministry in Embakasi South on Sunday, March 26, 2023.[Samson Wire,Standard]

Azimio la Umoja One-Kenya leader Raila Odinga has maintained that peaceful mass action will proceed as planned tomorrow.

Speaking on Sunday, March 26, 2023, during a church service at Jesus Teaching Ministry in Embakasi South, Odinga dismissed claims by Inspector-General of Police Japhet Koome declaring the protests illegal.

He stated that Azimio served the police with the mass action notice in time.

"The police were served with our protest notice in time and in accordance with the law. We intend to hold peaceful protests. Police Inspector-General Japhet Koome should stop issuing threats and instead he should let the police protect us. I'll be among those protesting tomorrow; instead of sending police to arrest me, come arrest me yourself," said Odinga.

Odinga's remarks follow Koome's declaration on Sunday that Azimio protests are illegal.

Koome warned that anyone found breaking the law, regardless of social status, would face severe consequences.

"The demonstrations still remain illegal. The police will deal with anyone found with weapons to cause chaos tomorrow. Political issues should be handled through the appropriate political channels. The majority of these politicians have lived their full lives and are out to destroy the future of the youth," Koome said.

"The police will protect lives and property of all Kenya and anyone found breaching law will be dealt with regardless of their status in the society,"

On his part, Odinga termed Koome's threats as baseless vowing to continue pushing for better leadership by calling out bad leaders.

"We will not have a country if we do not fight against bad governance. We are not looking to cause anarchy in the country; we are fighting for our rights and we have the right to tell Kenyans the truth," Odinga added.

Odinga led the first mass action against the high cost of living last week, where a Maseno University student was killed and more than 200 people arrested in nationwide protests.

At least four lawmakers were among those arrested during the protests, including the leaders of Odinga's faction in both houses of parliament.

Odinga has since announced that he will be staging anti-government protests twice a week, beginning Monday, March 26.