Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Kenya: Security Tight As Raila Odinga Calls for Protests on Saba Saba Day

Nairobi — Opposition leader Raila Odinga is expected to hold a major rally at the Kamukunji grounds later Friday, to rally Kenyans for protests against the high cost of living.

Odinga has constantly criticised the government of President William Ruto, accusing it of failing to consider the plight of Kenyans, particularly after the Finance Bill was passed paving the way for increased commodity prices, including fuel.

“We will have a major rally at the Kamukunji grounds and I am calling on as many Kenyans to attend so that we can decide our destiny,” Odinga said.

Ahead of the rally, security was tightened across the country, particularly in the capital Nairobi, Nakuru, Kisumu and Mombasa.

Roadblocks were also erected on roads leading to State House in Nairobi, Kisumu, Nakuru and Mombasa following fears demonstrators may attempt a daring match.

Similar protests were violently dispersed by police two months ago before the president set up a team to negotiate with Odinga in a structured dialogue on his grievances apart from the vote-rigging claim.

The Parliament-led talks collapsed last week leading to the new protests which security forces have vowed to suppress should they turn violent.

Leaders in the Kenya Kwanza government has accused former president Uhuru Kenyatta of fueling the planned demonstrations.

“We know who is sponsoring all these demonstrations and we have information on the planning meetings that involved the former president and Odinga,” said Dennis Itumbi, who was nominated for the Cabinet Administrative Secretary (CAS).

Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei has said Odinga should be held solely responsible should his rally and planned protests turn violent.

“It is very clear that Raila has no new tactics since 1997. You lose an election, challenge the current government and call for demonstrations. This time you will not go scot-free, we must bring order to the nation,” he said.


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