Ruto cautions against chaos during Azimio protests, accuses Raila of blackmail
President William Ruto has warned Azimio la Umoja coalition leader, Raila Odinga, to ensure that the planned demonstrations are peaceful and do not harm Kenyans who will be going about their business.
Ruto accused Odinga of blackmailing the country and said enough is enough while hosting Trans Nzoia leaders at State House in Nairobi.
“Enough is enough, you cannot continue to blackmail the country,” Ruto said. “The government will not allow loss of life, destruction of property and looting. We will not allow a few individuals who have refused to accept election results to cause chaos among peace loving people,” he added.
He urged Kenyans to protest peacefully and within the law, and urged Odinga to coordinate with police regarding the planned demonstration.
Ruto accused Odinga of holding bloody and chaotic protests for the past 50 years and urged him to assure Kenyans that things would be different this time. He stated that it is Odinga’s responsibility to meet with police and explain how the protests will be peaceful.
“Odinga has been holding bloody and chaotic demonstrations for the last 50 years; he needs to assure Kenyans that this will be different,” “It is his responsibility to sit down with police and explain to them how the demonstrations will be peaceful,” said President Ruto.
Meanwhile, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has asked leaders to encourage residents of their counties to focus on farming and development and to ignore any calls for protests. He stated that development is critical for Kenya and that Kenyans should prioritize it.
Musalia Mudavadi, Prime Cabinet Secretary, also urged Kenyans to disregard any fictitious declarations with no legal basis and go to work as usual on Monday. Mudavadi claimed that the proposed protests were illegal.
“There is a procedure of how public holidays are declared and it is determined legally on who can do it,” Mudavadi said.
Raila’s announcement of the protests comes after his 14-day ultimatum to the government to reduce living costs and open the 2022 presidential election servers expired last Wednesday.
Odinga also announced a new initiative aimed at challenging the current regime.
“We have launched peaceful campaigns of defiance, peaceful picketing, protests, boycotts, strikes, disobedience, petitions, sit-ins and peaceful demonstrations, and it starts now,” he said.
He expressed disappointment with Ruto’s administration, accusing it of failing to deliver on its election promises, thereby subjecting Kenyans to economic hardship.