Raila says anti-Gov't protests to resume in September if talks fail

Raila says anti-Gov't protests to resume in September if talks fail

Azimio leader Raila Odinga during a past address. PHOTO | COURTESY

Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition party leader Raila Odinga has stated that he will direct his supporters to take to the streets next month in protest of President William Ruto's government if the planned bi-partisan talks between the opposition and Kenya Kwanza amount to nothing.

Speaking in Gem, Siaya County, on Saturday when he attended the burial of David Omondi Ofwaya, a protestor who was shot dead during the now suspended demos, Odinga insisted that Azimio is open to holding talks with Kenya Kwanza but will not settle for anything less than what it is seeking to have Ruto's government address.

Azimio, among other things, wants a reduction in the cost of living, audit of the 2022 elections, bipartisan reconstitution of the IEBC, as well as its inclusion in national affairs and respect for political parties.

"Nimesema sisi kama wana-Azimio, tuko tayari kuongea, tutaongea na tunapatia wale jamaa siku thelathini kuongea. Baada ya siku thelathini kama jamaa bado amekaa ngumu ntatoa amri ingine. Lakini tumepea tume ambayo inaongezwa na Kalonzo Musyoka nafasi ya kuongea na wale kutoka ile ng'ambo ingine," he said.

"Tunanongea bila masharti; wao vile vile wasitoe masharti kwetu. Lakini wasipokuwa tayari kuongea na kukubaliana na sisi vile tunataka tunasema baada ya siku 30 Wakenya watachukua hatua tofauti."

Odinga’s statement comes just a day after Kenya Kwanza requested Azimio to reschedule the date for the planned bipartisan talks from Monday to Thursday next week.

The ruling coalition's team leader Kimani Ichung'wah, in a letter to his Azimio counterpart Kalonzo Musyoka on Friday, argued that the August 7 date proposed by the opposition does not align well Kenya Kwanza which only recently picked its 5-member delegation.

According to the National Assembly Majority Leader, Kenya Kwanza had also – coincidentally - already scheduled a team meeting on the same day to prepare for the talks.

“I acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 3rd August 2023, contents of which we duly note. However, we seek the indulgence of your team on the invitation to a meeting on Monday 7th August 2023,” stated Ichung’wah.

“While appreciating the urgency to embark on the talks, it is worth noting that having just constituted our team, we had a scheduled debrief on Monday with our team in order to prepare for the talks and a further engagement with the Bi-Partisan team and their assisting counsels on Tuesday 8th August 2023. We, therefore, seek your kind indulgence and propose that we schedule a joint first meeting on Thursday 10th August 2023 at 10 am.”

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Citizen Digital Raila Odinga Kenya Kwanza Azimio Anti-gov't demos

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