Government committed to protecting Kenyans' lives and properties during Azimio's protests, says Ruto

President William Ruto. [Samson Wire, Standard]

Government committed to protecting Kenyans' lives and properties during Azimio's protests, says Ruto

President William Ruto has assured Kenyans that they have nothing to worry over the planned countrywide protests by Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya next week.

Azimio leader Raila Odinga announced plans to hold demonstrations countrywide.

Odinga plans to hold protests in the capital, Nairobi, to push the government to reduce the cost of living and embrace an inclusive process in selecting IEBC commissioners who will replace the seven who have since vacated office though resignation, end of term or removal by tribunal.

Speaking in Siaya County on Tuesday, March 14, Odinga asked his supporters not to open their businesses on Monday, March 20 as it would be a "public holiday".

Responding to Raila, President Ruto said Kenya is a country governed by the rule of law and no one was above the law.

"The government will not allow loss of life, destruction of property and looting. We will not allow a few individuals who have refused to accept election results to cause chaos among peace loving people," said President Ruto.

Ruto was speaking at State House, Nairobi, on Wednesday, when he met leaders from Trans Nzoia County. He said Kenyans have the right to protest but must do so peacefully and within the law.

The Head of State urged Opposition leader Raila Odinga to liaise with police over the planned demonstration.

"Odinga has been holding bloody and chaotic demonstrations for the last 50 years; he needs to assure Kenyans that this will be different. This is why we've told Raila Odinga to sit down with police and explain to them how the demonstrations will be peaceful," said Ruto.

The State House meeting was attended by other leaders among them Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi, National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangula, Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakumicha, Trans Nzoia Governor George Natembeya and Trans Nzoia Senator Allan Chesang.

President Ruto maintained that the country would not submit to his threats and blackmail.

"I want to tell my elder brother Raila Odinga that we can't have two sets of laws," said Ruto.

DP Gachagua commended the leaders for their resolve to work with the government for the sake of development.

"I am happy that you are not part of those planning demonstrations. Why didn't Raila Odinga demonstrate when the cost of fertilizer was Sh 7,000 and unga prices at Sh 250?" posed Gachagua.

Prime CS Musalia Mudavadi on the other hand told off Raila for giving fictitious declarations that have no legal basis.

"We are in a country that is anchored by the rule of law. It's wrong for anyone to declare a public holiday in disregard to the rule of law," said Mudavadi.

National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangula said belligerent politics was totally unhelpful in developing countries, saying plans by the opposition leaders to hold demonstrations were uncalled for.

"Destructive violent activism is absolutely unhelpful. Legitimacy of President Ruto is unquestionable," said Wetangula.

Trans Nzoia Governor George Natembeya said he would work with the government for the sake of development, saying time for elections was over.

"My people have no time for demonstrations. Elections are over and it's time to support the government in power to deliver the promises we made to the electorate." Said Natembeya.

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