Azimio takes fight against Ruto to corridors of justice

Azimio plans to take the fight against President William Ruto to the corridors of justice to push him to address challenges facing Kenyans.

At the same time, the opposition told off foreign powers for allegedly interfering with the independence of the Judiciary.

In a hard hitting statement after Azimio summit at Raila Odinga's Capitol Hill office in Nairobi, Tuesday, the opposition leaders revealed that public-interest litigation was its primary strategy to counter the government, essentially relegating street protests to the back burner.

Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua said they would support petitioners challenging controversial government policies, among other strategies to press Ruto to listen to wananchi.

"The summit agrees that the cases coming up under public interest litigation address fundamental concerns in which Kenyans feel overlooked, mistreated and ignored by a State steeped in impunity and unilateral actions," Karua said.

"Some of the cases, like that filed by the Jubilee Party and the ruling by the National Assembly Speaker forming multiple parties within parties like they have done to Jubilee is a real threat to the foundations of our attempts to create a multi-party democracy. It threatens to return Kenya to a single party state," added the Narc Kenya leader who also highlighted the controversial housing levy and the privatisation of State corporations. 

This come in the wake of the President's claims of sponsored sabotage of his agenda through court cases, a statement Azimio views as an attempt to bully the Judiciary into submission.

And the opposition would accuse the United States of allegeldy interfering with the Judiciary's independence.

"Azimio stands for the rule of law and supports the need for and independent and professional Judiciary. Subsequently, we demand that Kenya Kwanza must keep its hands off the Judiciary. We take note of the support expressed by the US government for the Ruto regime to appeal the ruling on the deployment of police to Haiti. It is our hope that all parties shall respect the independence of the Judiciary," said Karua.

Yesterday's meeting, chaired by Raila, was the first in many months for the coalition, after reports of rifts within the top ranks.

Those who attended the summit include former DAP-K leader Eugene Wamalwa, National Assembly Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi, former governors Wycliffe Oparanya, Ndiritu Muriithi and Mwangi wa Iria, as well as Roots Party leader George Wajackoyah.

Others were Jubilee Secretary General Jeremiah Kioni and former Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya. Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka was absent, but Raila and Wamalwa said he was out of the country.

The Azimio leaders presented a united front after the meeting saying they have planned activities to strengthen the coalition.

The said they have weathered "several vigorous attempts by the Ruto administration to create disunity and splits in its ranks."

"Unity is an achievement the coalition will guard jealously to be able to continue fighting for Kenyans as one united front. Because the coalition has been able to stand up and stand together, Kenyans have regained their voices; their courage and are standing up to the bullies in this regime. Kenyans are standing up in very remote parts of this country to tell off the government on its lies and its insensitivity to the people," said Wamalwa.

The leaders described recruitment drives by individual parties as "fundamental strategies and tactical positions" aimed at strengthening Azimio.

"We agreed that the coalition is only as strong as its constituent parties. The Summit therefore reaffirmed its commitment to the renewal and strengthening of all the constituent parties through various activities including members recruitment drives, delegates’ conferences, Parliamentary Group and National Executive Committee meetings," Karua said adding that constituent parties would pursue a common programme of action that addresses the the country's challenges. 

In recent weeks, Raila has held recruitment drives for his Orange Democratic Movement party.

Azimio also took stock of its performance last year, promising more action to force the government to tame the rising cost of living. 

"Because of Azimio’s focus and steadfastness, the cost of living as a government induced pain is understood to be a direct result of Ruto’s policies and not any global environment or the previous regime," said Wamalwa, who chided Kenya Kwanza for blaming their inadequacies on former President Uhuru Kenyatta two years after the polls.

"The coalition is satisfied with the work of standing up for Kenyans and commits to continue holding the regime to account and to put blame where it belongs on areas like the ever rising taxes; the deteriorating relationship with our neighbours; the rampant corruption in government; the tribalism in public service; the deterioration of the Kenya shilling and general deterioration of the economy. The Kenya Kwanza regime, and not the people of Kenya, are to blame for these misfortunes that have ended up hurting innocent Kenyans," he added.