You're not realistic, Khalwale tells Raila over demos

Senate Minority Whip and Kakamega senator Boni Khalwale. [Benjamin Sakwa, Standard]

Kakamega senator Boni Khalwale has appealed to ODM leader Raila Odinga to go slow on the planned nationwide demonstrations saying they will only hurt the country.

Dr Kwalwale, who spoke in Malava constituency in Kakamega County on Friday, said: "These protests will not improve the lives of Kenyans in any way. Raila is only using them to get himself a job."

The Senate majority whip cautioned Luhya leaders against "blindly" joining the demos in the region saying the community is a great beneficiary of the William Ruto regime he accused Raila of undermining.

"If Ruto calls Raila out of the streets and makes him say, Chief Cabinet Minister today, he (Raila) will accept the offer and drop the demos right away, and leave his followers high and dry. All Raila wants is a position in government and we should abandon him as a community because we have many senior positions in government," he said.

Khalwale added: "Raila's mode of operation can be traced back to how he frustrated former presidents Daniel Moi, Mwai Kibaki, and lately Uhuru Kenyatta to the point that they had to create some position in their governments for him, to soothe his ego. That will not work with President Ruto as we have cautioned him against falling to such blackmail."

Khalwale spoke as demos rocked many towns in western Kenya. Raila said he called the demos to push the government to lower the cost of living. He also wants the government to stop implementing punitive taxes that are contained in the Finance Bill 2023.

He said Ruto has appointed several people from the region into his government noting that was enough reason for the region to avoid the demos.

The senator spoke as several local leaders, including form CS Eugene Wamalwa (DAP-K), former presidential candidate George Wajackoyah (Roots Party) and former Kakamega governor Wycliffe Oparanya, led MPs and MCAs from western into demos.

It was during the demos that they also collected signatures they said they will use to bring down the Kenya Kwanza regime.

Khalwale who was accompanied by President Ruto's aide Farouk Kibet during a fundraiser at Shiandeche Secondary School in Manda Shivanga ward, also took a swipe at teachers who were against Kenya Kwanza's controversial taxes asking them to be considerate.

"If you blame him for taxing you, where do you expect to get your pay from?" he said, adding; "Street protests would not offer any solution to the country's problems. Instead, they will only worsen the situation," said Khalwale.