Raila boards matatu to city in show of solidarity with Kenyans

Azimio leader Raila Odinga alights from a mamatu at Ambassadeur in Nairobi before touring several streets on foot in Nairobi's CBD on July 10,2023.  [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

Blaring with music and driven in the usual Kenyan matatu style was what Azimio la Umoja Coalition leader Raila Odinga experienced as he headed to Nairobi city centre yesterday morning

After opting not to use his usual motorcade with sirens signaling an important person on board, Raila interestingly looked as if he was at home, dressed in blue, seated in a blue manyanga plying the Ngong- Nairobi route

In a video that has since gone viral and was posted by Azimio TV captioned ‘Embracing the convenience and camaraderie of public transport heading to work’ the opposition supremo is seen conversing with other passengers on board

The tout sought the audience of Raila, decrying the high cost of fuel. Other passengers told him about the high cost of living, saying the country is not headed in the right direction. 

“Baba tunaumia, hii matatu tulikua tunalipa mia moja, leo tunalipa 150 (Baba we are struggling, we used to pay Sh100 for fare now we have to part with Sh150,” a passenger said as he jokingly pleaded with the opposition chief to cover his fare expenses.

Others complained of high electricity and water bills and pleaded with Raila to intervene.

When asked by a passenger about his experience in the matatu, Raila said he was “enjoying the ride.”

When asked by another passenger why he opted to use a matatu, Raila said he needed to share the everyday experience of Kenyans. “I opted for the matatu today so that I can experience what other citizens experience,” said Raila

Azimio la Umoja leader Raila Odinga addresses a crowd of his supporters along Wabera Street on July 10, 2023. [Dennish Ocheing, Standard]

In what caught many by surprise, Raila alighted at the Ambassador matatu terminus and went ahead to pay homage to Tom Mboya and Dedan Kimathi statues in the city. 

The Azimio boss then had a shoe shine while accompanied by other leaders among them former Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya.

He then proceeded to a restaurant for a meal.  The former premier completed his tour of the central business district by addressing his supporters along City Hall Way, stating that the push to collect 15 million signatures was on. 

Odinga’s move comes a few days after he urged Kenyans to boycott highly taxed commodities including avoiding using vehicles owing to the high cost of fuel. His appeal included walking to work to send a message to Kenya Kwanza that it had failed to empathise with mwananchi by increasing tax on fuel to 16 per cent.

“One way to do this is to carpool. Let us arrange to make regular journeys in a single vehicle whenever possible and give each other a ride,” he said.

By Sammy Mose 7 days ago
Maiyo wins inaugural KAM golf tournament
Nigeria's Super Eagles soar to AFCON final
AFCON hosts Ivory Coast aim to overcome DR Congo in semifinals
Nigeria sets sights on AFCON finals, confident against South Africa