Azimio diaspora join signature collection drive to oust Ruto

Azimio la Umoja supporters demonstrate at the Kenyan embassy in London, UK. [Kimnyango Seronei, Standard]

Azimio supporters in the diaspora have vowed to collect 100,000 signatures from eligible Kenyan voters towards the 10 million signatures target to delegitimise President William Ruto's regime.

During the demonstration at the Kenyan High Commission in London on July 19, Kenyans in the UK expressed anger at police brutality and the killing of protesters.

The Azimio supporters living in the UK, Europe and America appealed to the international community to address the human rights abuses, killings and arbitrary arrest of Kenyans.

The UK Azimio leaders led by their Chairman Maina Gatangi said they are one of the largest voting blocks in the diaspora with more than 300,000 Kenyans and nearly one-third registered as voters.

Gatangi said the UK and Europe alone can deliver 100,000 verifiable online signatures.

He argued that Kenyans have a right to claim their sovereignty since they have been let down by their elected leaders who have been captured by the Executive.

“Under section one of the Constitution of Kenya, all sovereign power belongs to the people of Kenya and shall be exercised either directly or through their democratically elected representatives. When Parliament has been compromised to short change the will of the people as evidenced in the recent passing of the Finance Act, then it’s time to claim back our power we gave the elected leaders including the President,” he said.

Gatangi explained that popular sovereignty is a political doctrine where all the people have a right to participate in government.

"Constitutionally the government can only exercise its authority within popular sovereignty if the people have explicitly granted it. In a situation where the people feel they have been let down by the government, popular sovereignty can demand the power back through mass action otherwise called a revolution," he said.

Azimio la Umoja leader Raila Odinga appends his signature to launch the movement's signature collection. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

He noted that countries where leaders have been pushed out by mass action include Bolivia (2000), Algeria (2021), Lebanon (2019), Iraq (2003) and Sudan (2019).

Azimio UK Chief Executive Officer and Chief Azimio Diaspora Campaign Coordinator Ali Ali said Kenyans deserve better after President Ruto reneged most election promises.

Ali argued that removing subsidies that cushioned Kenyans against the high cost of living and increasing taxes on fuel and other basic commodities was the highest form of dishonesty by the Kenya Kwanza government and should not be left unpunished.

“We ask all Kenyans to append their signatures and to join the protests in all parts of the country until either President Ruto listens to the will of Kenyans or flees the country to pave way for leaders who can listen and act to the will of the Kenyan people… enough is enough,” he said.

The Azimio UK leaders promised to reach out Kenyans in the diaspora to sign the petition and support protests.

Press Secretary of the Organisation Thomas Musau said President Ruto's administration has embarked on shooting of unarmed civilians peacefully protesting against increased taxation and the high cost of living.

"Those responsible for the killings should be held accountable and brought to Justice," said Musau.