Musalia Mudavadi: Azimio protests amount to anarchy

Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi. [Denis Kibuchi,Standard]

Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi has termed Azimio mass protests as a deliberate attempt to incite anarchy.

Speaking in Diani, Kwale County on July 13, 2023, Mudavadi accused Azimio leaders of evading responsibility and instead engaging in actions orchestrated to cause economic harm.

"It is time to enforce the law. The leaders of Azimio are accountable for instigating riots under the pretense of peaceful demonstrations, resulting in widespread destruction of property and loss of lives," said Mudavadi.

 He expressed regret over the billions of shillings lost each time the opposition calls for a demonstration.

In addition, Mudavadi maintained a firm stance that acts of civil disobedience should not be tolerated in a democratic country, stressing that the government will not cede ground.

"You cannot continuously seek to subject a legitimate government to submission every five years when you lose elections. Azimio's objective is to form a coalition government through such tactics," he added.

 He noted while the Constitution guarantees the right to peaceful and unarmed assembly, demonstration, picketing, and petitioning of public authorities, loss of life and destruction of property are not part of the constitutional provisions or the rule of law.

Mudavadi’s statement comes a day after Azimio supporters went on a rampage, causing significant damage to a section of the Nairobi Expressway in Mlolongo.

The widespread protests staged across the country resulted in fatalities and numerous injuries. Instances of looting, including in supermarkets and business outlets were also reported in various parts of the country.

 Amidst the protests, Odinga cancelled the planned rally at Kamukuji grounds. He cited cases of police shootings, assaults, and harassment specifically targeted at Azimio supporters.

However, he expressed that the coalition would persist with the protests to compel the government to address the high cost of living, which has adversely affected many Kenyans.

On Thursday, ODM party Secretary General Edwin Sifuna announced that the Azimio coalition is contemplating holding protests three days in a week, beginning next week, from Monday to Wednesday.

“Starting next week, we are introducing protests in shifts. If you are available on Monday, join us for the demonstration. Similarly, those available on Tuesday and Wednesday can participate on those days. However, for those who can attend every day, we will hold protests on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday until the government heeds our demands,” said Sifuna.