Azimio to skip National Prayer Breakfast, says event "undermines God"

Azimio la Umoja leader Raila Odinga. [Emmanuel Wanson, Standard]

The Azimio la Umoja- One Kenya Coalition has declined an invitation to attend the National Prayer Breakfast, which is scheduled for Wednesday, June 7, at Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi.

In a statement on Tuesday, June 6, Azimio expressed concerns that the prayer meeting may undermine values of humility and respect towards God and country, considering the issues facing the nation today.

"Instead, the event will dishonor God and the country with displays of arrogance, superiority battles, false hopes for citizens, and vitriolic post-event mischaracterization and misinterpretation of intentions by well-known Kenya Kwanza leaders. We have, therefore, declined the invitation to the breakfast," a statement by Azimio read in part.

The annual prayer event brings together leaders across the political divide. 

The statement by Azimio comes in the back of a standoff between the opposition and government over contentious issues contained in the proposed Finance Bill, 2023.

Speaking during the Madaraka Day celebrations, President William Ruto rallied Kenyans to support the Bill, saying it would offer affordable housing and create millions of jobs for unemployed youth.

However, Azimio leader Raila Odinga has maintained that the Bill is aimed at oppressing the already struggling Kenyans, vowing to institute mass action against the proposal.

Odinga has called on supporters to rally behind him, promising to make an announcement on Thursday regarding the way forward.

The proposed Finance Bill will, if passed, introduce a new provision requiring Kenyan employees to contribute three percent of their monthly salaries towards a government-driven housing scheme, among other changes.