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Raila to Ruto: I will bring a petition at your office

 Azimio la Umoja leader Raila Odinga. [File, Standard]

Azimio la Umoja leader Raila Odinga has affirmed that Tuesday protests are on, despite the warning by Nairobi police boss.

Raila's sentiments came hours after Nairobi Regional Commander Adamson Bungei declared the planned mass action illegal.

In a statement on Sunday afternoon, Raila said stopping the demonstrations would be akin to suspending the Constitution of Kenya.

"Unless Mr Ruto wants to suspend the constitution and rule by decree, we will exercise our right to assemble, demonstrate, picket and present petitions on Tuesday, May 2, 2023, as earlier announced, dark threats notwithstanding," Odinga's statement read in part.

Raila argued that the Constitution of Kenya, which in Article 37 provides that 'Every person has the right, peaceably and unarmed, to assemble, to demonstrate, to picket, and to present petitions to public authorities' has not been suspended.

According to him, the demonstrations will include a stop at four various government offices in the country.

He said the team shall present a petition at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), addressing electoral injustices and the removal of the four commissioners well known as the Cherera Four.

"We will be visiting the National Treasury to petition for the immediate release of all funds owed to counties and the timely payment of salaries to all civil servants," the statement read.

According to the statement, the Azimio team will also show up at the Office of the President to give a petition as proof of the high cost of living and also barring the office from staging takeovers of rival political parties.

Here, he made reference to the ongoing leadership wrangles at the Jubilee Party whose leader is the immediate former President Uhuru Kenyatta.

"We shall not agree to be cowed into silence when so many things are going wrong in the country; with cults that enjoy patronage and protection from State House killing Kenyans, including children, in their hundreds, goons hired by the state invading and destroying private property, massive corruption making a grand return to the country and tribalism taking an unprecedented sway in public offices," Raila said.

The Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition begun nationwide demonstrations against the high cost of living, and electoral injustice among other issues on March 20.

Later, the coalition escalated the protests to two days per week Monday and Thursday in an attempt to push President William Ruto to a negotiating table.

After a push and pull, the coalition announced it had suspended the protests to give way to what they termed as bipartisan talks.

The two camps chose their hardliners that put up several demands to be met collapsing the efforts to kickstart gthe talks.

On Saturday President Ruto vowed to use his power to protect businesses from attacks by looters after the Azimio coalition announced the resumption of protests.

Speaking in Malava, Kakamega County Ruto said that Azimio coalition leaders led by Raila Odinga were dishonest accusing them of changing goalposts by announcing the resumption of protests, despite agreeing to take part in the bipartisan talks.

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