Azimio protests to resume on Thursday after 'police frustrations'

Azimio leaders address media at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Foundation in Nairobi. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

Azimio la Umoja Coalition has rescheduled the demonstrations to Thursday, May 4, after heavy police presence barred them from holding meetings in different parts of the city.

In a statement on Tuesday evening, Azimio co-principal Martha Karua said the team will take a break for a day, before resuming their weekly demonstrations.

“Tomorrow, we take a break to recharge and strategize. Our protests will resume on Thursday, May 4,” Karua said.

The coalition also claimed that security officers frustrated their bid to present petitions to four Government offices as intended.

They had planned to present petitions to the Office of the President, the National Treasury, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) as well as the Public Service Commission.

Azimio has also pointed an accusing finger at some government officials, saying they hired goons to disrupt the peaceful protests and destroy property.

“True to their threats after a meeting in Thika, they hired goons to disrupt peace and destroy property. The hired goons are from the Mount Kenya region and are the same people who previously attacked Northlands farm and Spectre Company,” said Karua.

This came hours after a Public Service Vehicle was set ablaze by unknown people on Ngong Road and a long-distance cargo trailer torched on Southern Bypass next to Kibera slums by rowdy youth on Tuesday.

According to Karua, the coalition has also accused the State of feeding Kenyans Genetically Modified Foods (GMO).

They have claimed that new maize flour brands sold at lower prices in the supermarket than the well-known brands are milled from GMO maize.

“New unga brands sold cheaper are GMO maize. Some millers have refused to mill the maize and that is why the well-known brands are more expensive.”

For the better part of Tuesday, the Azimio motorcade leaders canvassed through Westlands and Ruaka Constituencies in Nairobi, playing cat and mouse with the police who were trailing them.

In the end, the politicians were not able to meet with their protesters as a result of the heavy police presence.

“We have had a peaceful procession from Kawangware-Kangemi-Waruku-Westlands-Parklands-Muthaiga-Kiambu Road with a full police escort in 15 land cruisers. Nobody was robbed. No mama mboga was harassed. Everyone was cheering on and saying how tired they are with the regime,” ODM Party said.

The Raila Odinga-led coalition further alleged that the official security of Odinga, his wife Ida, Martha Karua, and Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka was withdrawn.

“Even with the withdrawal of security detail of Raila, Karua, and Kalonzo, Azimio supporters are undeterred. They will provide 24-hour security to their leaders. And you know what! God above is alive,” Phillip Etale tweeted on Tuesday.