Raila gives Ruto until Wednesday midnight to heed to Azimio’s demands

By , K24 Digital
On Wed, 8 Mar, 2023 09:04 | 2 mins read
Raila gives Ruto until Wednesday midnight to heed to Azimio's demands
Azimio leader Raila Odinga. PHOTO/Courtesy

Azimio la Umoja - One Kenya coalition leader Raila Odinga now says President William Ruto has until Wednesday midnight to act on the opposition's demands or face the consequences of planned mass protests.

Speaking at Parliament buildings on Tuesday, March 7, the opposition chief affirmed that the 14-day ultimatum issued to the government to address among others, the high cost of living, lapses on Wednesday night.

Raila said he would give his supporters the way forward on Thursday, March 9, on the next course of action.

"I want you to wait for the time. The deadline is tomorrow midnight so you will hear from us on Thursday," Raila told journalists after a meeting with Senators allied to Azimio.

At the same time, the former Prime Minister dismissed the selection panel constituted to select new commissioners of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), terming the exercise a sham.

Raila last month gave a two-week ultimatum to President Ruto to fulfil a raft of political demands and threatened to spearhead demonstrations across the country if the demands are not met.

Speaking during the opposition's prayer rally at Jevanjee Gardens in Nairobi on February 22, Raila said high taxes imposed by the Kenya Kwanza administration have seen prices of basic commodities hit the roof.

He also attributed the high cost of living to President Ruto's move to remove food and fuel subsidies introduced by his predecessor Uhuru Kenyatta to cushion the citizenry.

Raila said the move to withdraw the subsidies in the middle of drought and famine was reckless and heartless and demanded reinstatement within two weeks.

The opposition claimed the electoral body led by former chairman Wafula Chebukati was used to rig him out in the last presidential election and demanded the immediate opening of the servers for audit.

"Electoral deceit must end. The (IEBC) servers must be opened and audited under the auspices of a reputable firm or organisation failure to which we shall lead people to restore their authority and voice," he added.

He also called for the suspension of the process of hiring new electoral commissioners.

"If these demands are not heeded within fourteen days, we shall lead Kenyans to massive mass action across the country to take their power back and restore sanity," he warned.

However, in a swift rejoinder, the President warned the opposition against intimidation tactics, emphasising that his government would not condone lawlessness.

“Let them not threaten us with mass action,” the President said in Korogocho where he was presiding over the start of a campaign to clean up Nairobi River. “They will get tired. As President, I will ensure that the country is governed based on the rule of law. No citizen is above the law.

“You had five years and the prices of unga rose up to Sh250 per bag. We will reduce the price of unga to Sh120. They had their opportunity when they were in power and failed,” he said.

Ruto blamed the 2018 handshake between then-President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila for the prevailing high cost of living and ballooning public debt. 

“We don’t want to talk about the 2027 elections. We first want to address issues facing the people. I want to tell our brothers to go slow."

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