What leaders who graced MP Injendi's function think of the Azimio la Umoja demos

Police and media during the AZIMIO high cost of living demonstrations in Mathare North, Nairobi on March 30th, 2023. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

A section of leaders who, on Saturday, attended the thanksgiving ceremony for Malava MP Malulu Injendi, which was graced by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, condemned demonstrations being led by Azimio leader Raila Odinga.

Led by Kakamega Governor Fernandes Barasa, the leaders said on April 1 that the demos are causing more harm than good to the country.

He urged Odinga to call off the demos, asking him to put the interests of Kenyans at heart.

According to Barasa, the time for politics was long gone, saying Kenyans need development moving forward.

"As governor, I will always participate in any development agenda," he said.

Teso MP Mary Emase said that Odinga had done a lot for the country in the fight for democracy, and his participation in the demos was soiling that reputation.

"It is time to stop and reflect and ask yourself what legacy you (Odinga) want to leave behind," she said.

Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen also waded into the debate on the demos.

Murkomen said that when Odinga shook hands with President Uhuru Kenyatta in March 2018, a section of the leaders, famously known then as Tangatanga, became the opposition.

"As Odinga and Uhuru were in the handshake government, we had the option to protest and burn tyres, but we chose not to do so," said Murkomen.

He said that Odinga can be in the opposition and carry out his role as a responsible Kenyan without the "theatrics" that have played out during the demos.

He said that investors, who were willing to invest in Lake Victoria, had pulled out of the negotiations until normalcy is restored in Kisumu County.

"We are going to make sure these political parties and political actors are going to carry out the opposition responsibilities with a lot of humility and in the right way," he said.

UDA Secretary-General Cleophas Malala said that on Monday, April 3, when Azimio resume their demos, he will join Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua and Kimani Ichung'wa to camp at KICC and wait for Odinga to present to them his petition bearing his grievances.

Malala said that in as much they are willing to engage Odinga, he should forget about a handshake with President William Ruto.

Majority Leader in the National Assembly Kimani Ichung'wah said that the demos had led to the loss of business opportunities as well as traders losing their earnings due to the closure of businesses.

The Kikuyu MP dismissed claims by Odinga that someone was out to kill him.

Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruyiot and his Uasin Gishu counterpart Jackson Mandago said that the demos were not helping Kenya progress.