Police fail to block Raila's access to Kiambu town for protest rally

Azimio leader Raila Odinga addressing a crowd in Kiambu during the People's Baraza ahead of the countrywide mass action. [Emmanuel Wanson, Standard]

Azimio leader Raila Odinga's tour of Kiambu County for people's barazas was on Friday characterised by cat and mouse games as the police tried to block his entry into Kiambu town.

The police first blocked Ruaka-Kiambu Junction with several police Landcruisers when Raila and his entourage was addressing people in Ruaka.

Raila's entourage would later outsmart the police by using other routes to access Kiambu town where he addressed a rally.

During the tour, Raila criticised the government for not bringing down the cost of living, mainly consumables like flour, cooking fat and electricity.

"This government hawked false promises to Kenyans. They told us that immediately they ascend to power they will make life bearable but as we speak things have spiraled out of control. It is for this reason I am inviting all of you for a peaceful demonstration this Monday to show our displeasure with the government," he told the crowd.

Police threw a teargas canister but Raila continued with his address. He condemned the action.

Raila said Kenyans are not begging to be allowed to demonstrate on Monday since it is a constitutionally guaranteed right.

"We are not begging Ruto to allow us to demonstrate. It is our right to do so because we shall be having a peaceful demonstration," Raila said .

Raila took the podium to criticize president Ruto for appointing the 50 Chief Administrative Secretaries (CASs), saying that it was blatant abuse of power which Kenyans will pay dearly.

"We have witnessed the president nominating a whooping 50 CASs which is not constitutional. These people will be paid by Kenyan tax payers. Moreover, Ruto had told us that he will deal with mama mboga and boda boda riders. Did you see any mama mboga or boda boda rider in the nominations," he posed.

The Azimio leader took another swipe at Ruto's government saying that during the era of Uhuru Kenyatta many goods were subsidised including fuel and maize flour.

Narc-K leader Martha Karua, his running mate, said Kenyans must come out and free the country from the bondage.

"They stole our elections and cheated Kenyans that they will lower the price of foodstuffs, which has not happened. We want to have a massive demonstration to show our displeasure with this administration," Karua said

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka said that the demonstration will be peaceful and no business will be rooted.

"They are saying that there is a plot to steal from Kikuyus and also loot their business. This are lies ,they are peddling half truths the only people who can do this is the police," Kalonzo said.

In Githurai 45, a podium that Raila was to address a rally was brought down by hired goons.

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