Azimio leader Raila Odinga, a prominent figure in Kenyan politics, has recently been thrust into the spotlight due to his absence from anti-government protests and rumors surrounding his health.
In an exclusive interview with the Nation, Odinga addressed the speculations, revealing that he is suffering from a bad infection and is currently on bed rest.
The Opposition leader’s absence from the protests, which he himself had called for, raised concerns and triggered speculation about his whereabouts.
Bloggers affiliated with the Kenya Kwanza regime suggested that he was unwell and admitted to an undisclosed hospital, but Odinga refuted these claims, attributing his absence to a severe flu.
He emphasized that his doctors had advised him to take a break to recuperate, and he assured the public that he was feeling better and would soon resume his activities.
During the telephone interview, Odinga defended the ongoing protests against the high cost of living and punitive taxes, which have seen citizens take to the streets to express their dissatisfaction with the government’s economic policies.
The Azimio leader clarified that the demonstrations were not about him, his running mate Martha Karua, or Kalonzo Musyoka, but rather a collective outcry by Kenyans who were facing economic hardships.
Regarding the allegations that he was seeking a back-door deal with President Ruto, Odinga firmly denied any such intentions.
He stated that he had not engaged in any political talks with President Ruto and had no plans for a power-sharing arrangement as claimed by some leaders in the Kenya Kwanza government.
Odinga expressed his skepticism and lack of trust in the President, asserting that dialogue with him would not yield genuine results.
In response to accusations that former President Uhuru Kenyatta was funding the protests, Odinga dismissed them as “political hypocrisy.”
He advised President Ruto to focus on matters other than Mr. Kenyatta, highlighting their strained relationship during their time in government.
Despite the lukewarm nature of recent protests and the collapse of bipartisan talks, Odinga reaffirmed the Azimio coalition’s commitment to standing with Kenyans in their fight against the high cost of living and unfavorable economic conditions.
He placed the blame on the Kenya Kwanza regime for forcing them to take to the streets due to their refusal to address the citizens’ five demands during negotiations.