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Azimio warns Ruto against Haiti mission

 A demonstrator holds up a Haitian flag during protests demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, March 1, 2024. [AP Photo]

Azimio leaders have accused President William Ruto of interfering with the independence of the Judiciary and Parliament and urged Kenyans to resist attempts to erode democratic gains.

Led by Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka, the opposition leaders said that the Kenya Kwanza Government has failed to honour pledges to Kenyans.

Speaking at Makenji ACK Parish in Embu county, on Sunday, the leaders accused President Ruto of disobeying court orders and interfering with legislation in Parliament.

"We will hold this government responsible in case our sons die in Haiti under the illegal deployment. We still oppose the move that was declared illegal by our courts," Kalonzo said noting that 80 per cent of Haiti is controlled by gangs. 

The Wiper leader accused the government of disobeying court orders on the housing levy. 

"The government has failed to adhere to the Constitution that they were sworn in, to protect," he said.

Kalonzo said that the high cost of living is affecting everyone regardless of their political affiliation. "The government has ignored the roles and powers of Parliament and Judiciary which will lead to total dictatorship," he said.

DAP-K leader Eugene Wamalwa challenged the Attorney General Justin Muturi to tell the government the truth about Haiti as he did on the housing tax. 

"The AG Muturi is a 'son' of Embu who has advised the government on what should be the legal and constitutional course of action but they continue to ignore his advice," he said.

Wamalwa faulted the government's plan to deploy police to Haiti instead of addressing insecurity in Baringo and Isiolo counties where teachers and an MCA were killed.

He noted that according to the United Nations recommendations, one police officer should serve 450 people but currently in Kenya one police officer serves 1150 people.

Wamalwa said Azimio will push the government to lower the high cost of living and taxation. 

"The increased taxation of petrol and electricity is affecting all of us leading to high cost of basic items," he said. 

He said the Finance Bill 2023/2024 proposal to tax farm produce is unfair to farmers. 

The leaders assured supporters that Azimio is intact even as ODM leader Raila Odinga eyes the African Union Commission chairperson position. 

Former Murang'a Governor and Usawa Kwa Wote party leader Mwangi Wa Iria faulted government plans to tax agricultural produce. 

"We will rise up as farmers to hold peaceful demonstrations to oppose the tax, those proposals are unacceptable and I will join avocado farmers in protesting if they are forced to pay," he said.

He urged the Gema community to speak in one voice saying some powerful individuals have been working on edging out the Akamba from the bloc by putting the last abbreviation 'A' to mean Association instead of Akamba.

Kitui Senator Enock Wambua said President Ruto was setting a bad precedent by disobeying court orders.

"What will make Kenyans not rise against the rule of law if the President can't follow the same," Wambua said.

Matungulu MP Stephen Mule claimed that the Haiti issue is transactional where an individual will benefit at the expense of innocent Kenyans.

He accused Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua of lying to Kenyans on the proposed tax on farm produce. "It doesn't make sense telling Kenyans now you have discovered the law is faulty after telling your MPs to pass it as it is," Mule said.

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