Solomon Kuria, the Chairman of Azimio la Umoja - One Kenya coalition's Youth League, has resigned.
Kuria tendered his resignation in a letter addressed to Azimio leader Raila Odinga dated Thursday, December 8, 2022.
The outspoken youth leader faulted the Azimio boss over recent calls for rallies to protest against Kenya Kwanza administration actions, saying the coalition had deviated from the ideals agreed upon during its conception.
Kuria said he was never consulted on plans to hold a series of countrywide rallies to protest alleged injustices by the President William Ruto-led administration.
The politician noted that the protests were against a commitment by Azimio to maintain peace in the country during and after the August elections regardless of the outcome of the poll.
"There was consensus on killing the culture of wastage associated with disputed elections when the resolving of the same was subjected to extra-judicial resolutions. We documented the resolve to only rely on the courts in the event we lost the elections," Kuria said.
"...It is with much consternation therefore that I received the news that Azimio was planning to hold demonstrations that were then scaled down to what Is being called: Citizen engagement rallies. There was even talk of holding parallel Jamhuri Celebrations in Nairobi. It is strange that nobody found it necessary to consult or Inform me of any of these plans much as I am the representative of the largest constituency of the membership of the Party, youth."
He said he would have opposed any plans to hold any demonstrations in the country to keep the youth productive and protect them against potential violence.
"For the avoidance of doubt. I would have said a big no to the same considering it goes against everything I assumed the coalition stood for. We all know that youth are always the casualty in the event these activities become violent," he added.
"Youth are supposed to be busy working or looking for opportunities not held hostage in unproductive political rallies."
Kuria also criticized Azimio leaders for inciting members of the public not to repay the Hustler Fund loans, saying the move was uncalled for.
"I was equally amazed that Azimio senior leaders would encourage youth to not repay money they have received from government. A leader worth his salt would appreciate that this is taxpayers' money that works as a revolving fund and as such only helps change lives when initial beneficiaries repay," he said.
"These and many other reasons make me feel that this Party has chosen a different path from the one agreed upon at inception. I can not be a member, leave alone an official of a Political Party that seems to stand for everything I don't believe In.
"This letter is to inform you that I have resigned with immediate effect as the Chairman of the Azimio Youth League. Thank you for the opportunity to serve."
During the coalition's first rally at Kamukunji Grounds on Wednesday, Raila questioned the source of the Ksh50 billion Hustler Fund launched last month.
He asked members of the public to embrace the government’s loaning scheme, but to treat the money as their own.
“Hii Hustler Fund ati unapewa shilingi mia tano, hiyo unaweza kuanzisha biashara gani? Alafu ati ulipe baada ya siku kumi na nne…sisi tulisema nguruwe sita. Mjue hii mnapewa ni deposit ya zile nguruwe sita,” he said while defending Azimio's Ksh6,000 social protection fund that was was part of his campaign manifesto.
“Wakitoa, chukua, lakini hapana sema asanti maanake ni mali yenu. Mwambie kesho pia nitarudi. Hio ni mali ya umma ambayo jamaa wameiba.”
On his part, Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka said the Husler Fund was not anchored in law.
"As experienced leaders in this nation, even though vijana mnasema hamtalipa Hustler Funds, wacheni niwaambie mbona hamtalipa. Hustler Funds has no legal framework, haijapelekwa kwa Bunge. Mnajua sheria za Bunge, you have to get an appropriation, hiyo haijafanyiwa,” he said.
“Kenya Kwanza mna jukumu la kueleza dunia nzima...hii Ksh.50 billion tunataka tujue inatoka wapi, Treasury haijaidhinisha. You have a duty to explain the source of the money.”
The leaders were at Kamukunji Grounds to protest against, among others, a plot to kick out the four electoral commissioners who rejected presidential results announced by Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman Wafula Chebukati declaring Ruto as President-elect in August.