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You risk ruining your legacy, PLO tells Raila Odinga

National
 PLO Lumumba has urged Raila Odinga to cancel the planned March 20, 2023 protests in Nairobi. [File, Standard]

Lawyer Patrick Lumumba, better known as PLO, has urged Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya leader Raila Odinga to call off the Monday, March 20 anti-Ruto protests.

PLO says Odinga, who has an illustrious history of fighting for human and democratic rights in Kenya, risks blighting that reputation should Kenyans get injured or killed in the planned demonstrations.

Speaking on Citizen Television's Jeff Koinange Live on Wednesday, March 15, PLO said Odinga could be branded as a "person at the forefront of destroying Kenya".

The lawyer reiterated his earlier plea to Odinga to call off the Monday protests to avert possible injuries and deaths.

"If he (Odinga) becomes president on Monday, will the prices of commodities go down [instantly]? Will the appointment [of government officials] suddenly change? Will Kenya become the land of gold?" PLO posed during the TV interview.

Legacy

During the fight against what was perceived to be an oppressive regime, Odinga was arrested and charged with treason after being accused of masterminding the 1982 coup.

He was released six years later in February 1988, but detained again in August of the same year, to be released in June 1989.

In the subsequent years, he fought for liberalisation of Kenya's democracy and speech, culminating in the repealing of Section 2A of the Constitution in 1991, thereby making Kenya a multi-party state. The change enabled the introduction of term limits to the presidency.

It is these contributions, that PLO referred to as Odinga's "rich" legacy which, he claims, is now at threat.

March 20 protests

On March 9, Odinga called for countrywide protests to push President William Ruto's government to reduce the cost of living and incorporate the opposition in the membership of the panel that selects Kenya's new IEBC commissioners, among other reasons.

During the Wednesday TV interview, PLO asked leaders who believe in the validity of Odinga's grievances to use formal channels to raise the issues.

"Kenya has 47 governors, but none of them has petitioned the National Assembly or the Senate to address the so-called crisis in the country. No Woman Representative or MCA has raised the grievances. [If they can't voice these concerns], then why did we elect them?" posed PLO.

In a letter addressed to President Ruto and Odinga in early March, PLO asked the duo to put aside their differences and negotiate for the best interest of the country.

The lawyer also asked the Executive, led by Dr. Ruto and Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, to ensure that at all times they speak in one voice to avoid confusing Kenyans, especially on matters government policy.

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