The Standard Group Plc is a multi-media organization with investments in media platforms spanning newspaper print operations, television, radio broadcasting, digital and online services. The Standard Group is recognized as a leading multi-media house in Kenya with a key influence in matters of national and international interest.
  • Standard Group Plc HQ Office,
  • The Standard Group Center,Mombasa Road.
  • P.O Box 30080-00100,Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Telephone number: 0203222111, 0719012111
  • Email: [email protected]

Muslims divided as pressure piles on Azimio to call off its protests

 Azimio leader Raila Odinga. [Jenipher Wachie, Standard]

As Azimio resumes its demonstrations on Monday, opinion is divided on the matter.

Some leaders want the Raila Odinga-led coalition to stop the demos and embrace dialogue while others see nothing wrong with the protests.

The Muslim community in Nakuru and Nyeri have called on Raila to halt the protests and allow them to celebrate the holy month of Ramadhan.

Faiz Nasher, the chairperson of Muslim Community, Sunday said it is too early for the opposition to hold protests, adding that President William Ruto should be given time to work.

"Let's give the president time, demonstrating yet he has been in office for less than seven months isn't a good idea, and again you should allow us to pray in peace please," Nasher said.

Yusuf Kisangi, Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (Supkem) Nakuru branch chairperson, urged the demonstrators to give them time to pray and resume their protests, if necessary, at the end of the holy month.

Kisangi said the riots would affect Ramadhan by making it difficult for Muslims to attend daily prayers.

"Give us the time we need to celebrate the holy month in peace. We call for dialogue, among the two leaders. We are ready to be part of the arbitrators in bringing unity among the leaders," he added.

Youth leader Abdullahi Adan noted that the leaders should unite for the sake of peace, adding that businesses and learning will be affected.

In Nyeri County, Muslim leaders have strongly condemned Azimio's call for demonstrations.

Sheikh Jamal Juma called for an end to the wave of lawlessness witnessed during last week's riots.

"We condemn the riots, especially since they are happening in the Holy month of Ramadhan. Calling for demonstrations when Muslims are fasting is indeed contempt towards the Islamic faith since it's going to disrupt our normal routine of worship... the rioting should be halted," Sheikh Jamal said.

Nyeri Muslim Professional Network leader Dr Suleiman Mzee Saidi decried the destruction of property and loss of business opportunities witnessed during the protests.

He said the losses witnessed throughout the riots outstripped the envisaged benefit for the common citizens.

The leaders called on Muslim youths to avoid the protests as they only benefit politicians while they are left nursing their injuries.

Nyeri Catholic Archbishop Anthony Muheria called on political leaders to dialogue to resolve the issues affecting the country.

"Even if after the dialogue you won't agree on all the issues, appreciate that you are leading a Christian-based nation and you respect the will of God on dialogue," Muheria noted.

He called on leaders to respect each other regardless of their opinion.

Muheria insisted if anyone wants to demonstrate to do it peacefully and not distract others since everyone has rights as provided in the Constitution.

Muheria noted that demonstration is not a solution, not everything can be resolved by protests, and there are other better ways of raising the concern.

Tough time

He insisted that the country is undergoing a tough time with the prices of basic commodities rising.

In Mombasa, some Muslims, however, backed the protests by Azimio.

Kenya Muslims National Advisory Council (Kemnac) said there was nothing wrong in participating in demonstrations and demands for rights and justice in the holy month of Ramadhan.

Kemnac National Chairman Sheikh Juma Ngao differed with other Muslim clerics affiliated with the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims and the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya (CIPK), saying that even the holy war (jihad) to defend the rights of Muslims was fought during the month of Ramadhan.

"We support the demonstrations as Kemnac. Even the prophet led the holy war during the month of Ramadhan. Kenyans are demonstrating because of the high cost of living, and there is nothing wrong with it. We support the demonstrations," he said.

Supkem national chairman Hassan ole Naado last week opposed the demonstrations, saying that government should be given time to work.

Speaking in Mombasa Sunday, Siaya Senator Oburu Oginga expressed concern over President William Ruto's challenge to Raila for a personal duel.

Oburu said the Odinga family was concerned about Raila's safety because the president has the police at his disposal.

"Raila is demonstrating as any other Kenyan in accordance with the Constitution. We fear the president wants to use the police against Raila and the people who are not armed," Oburu argued.

Meanwhile, Kenya Kwanza leaders in Coast Sunday denounced the demonstrations, saying they are hurting businesses, including the smooth transportation of cargo from the Port of Mombasa.

Accept defeat

Rabai MP Kenga Mupe, a Kenya Kwanza legislator, said elected leaders backing the protests should instead bring the issues being demanded by the demonstrators to Parliament.

In Kericho, former Kipkelion MP Magerer Langat said Raila should accept defeat and focus on 2027.

Magerer said the election is over, and Kenyans want development from their leaders.

"Kenyans want development and not a demonstration, Raila should give the president time to stabilise the economy," Magerer said.

Magerer, a former Executive Director of ODM, claimed Raila was determined to sabotage the Ruto administration's efforts to revive the economy.

He said the opposition leaders would not hold the country hostage to advance their selfish political interests.

"The president is busy, and Raila should stop interfering with his duties of transforming the country," Mr Magerer said.

He described Raila as a man who has never been satisfied with election results.

In Nyanza, some leaders called on Raila to stop the demonstrations.

Former Rangwe MP Martin Ogindo, Lake Victoria South Water Works Development Agency chairman Odoyo Owidi, and UDA Co-ordinator in Homa Bay John Odek want Raila to consider economic damages caused by the protests.

"We are appealing to Raila to stop the demonstrations. These demonstrations have remained an affair of the Luo community," Ogindo said.

The former legislator argued that the Luo community is going to be the biggest losers with regards to the demonstrations.

He said huge economic losses have been incurred during past demonstrations in Kisumu, Homa Bay and Migori. These include property destruction and loss of lives.

The leaders called on Raila to reciprocate the support Ruto accorded him in 2007.

Former Trans Nzoia Woman Rep Janet Nangabo termed the weekly protests a waste of time.

Nangabo urged Kenyans to ignore the demonstration calls and embark on meaningful activities that could change their lives.

[Report by Yvonne Chepkwony, Kiprono Kurgat, Patrick Beja, James Omoro, Eric Abuga, Osinde Obare, Purity Mwangi and Yahya Mahinda]

[email protected]

Related Topics


Trending Now


Popular this week