Raila Odinga declares mass action in 14 days' time

Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya leader Raila Odinga addressing a gathering at Jeevanjee Gardens in Nairobi on February 22, 2023. [Denis Kibuchi, Standard]

Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya leader Raila Odinga has declared mass action countrywide in the next 14 days to protest against the high cost of living and President William Ruto's administration.

Odinga made the declaration at the Jeevanjee Gardens in Nairobi on Wednesday, February 22.

The former prime minister said Kenyans had "grown tired of the Kenya Kwanza administration's hide-and-seek games on the cost of living".

"We have been talking about the rising cost of basic commodities like unga, electricity, diesel, petrol, paraffin, sugar, milk, among others for far too long. We have complained about rising taxes, and we have lately talked about children dropping out of school for lack of fees," said Odinga during the event dubbed Azimio prayer rally.

"Withdrawal of subsidies to food and education in the middle of drought and famine was reckless and heartless. Consequently, the subsidies must be restored, the cost of basic commodities and taxes must come down in the next 14 days," said Odinga.

The opposition leader said should President Ruto's administration fail to heed their warning, then Azimio will ask its supporters countrywide to take part in mass action.

At the same time, Odinga asked the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to allow independent auditors access to the electoral servers.

"Electoral deceit must end. Servers must be opened and audited under auspices of a reputable firm or organisation, failure to which, we shall lead people to restore their authority and voice," he said.

The ODM boss demanded inclusivity in the selection of six new IEBC commissioners after the resignations of three and contract expiry of three others.

"The ongoing process of reconstituting IEBC must stop immediately. A bipartisan task force must be put in place to restructure IEBC in a manner that ends its monolithic operations. If these demands are not heeded within 14 days, we shall lead Kenyans to massive mass action across the country to take their power back and restore sanity," he said.