President William Ruto has told Azimio leader Raila Odinga that he is personally responsible for the security of Kenyans and their property during Monday’s mass action.
Ruto stated that while the government will not interfere with the planned protests in any way, it is incumbent upon Raila to ensure that lives and property are not endangered. He also noted that Raila has used demonstrations for a long time to hold the country ransom, and that enough is enough. The Azimio leader is pushing for the lowering of the cost of living, electoral justice, fair taxation, and equal representation in government, among other issues.
Ruto spoke at State House in Nairobi when he met a delegation of leaders from Trans Nzoia County led by Governor George Natembeya. The President pledged to upgrade Kitale town by constructing roads and sewer lines while expressing regret that Kitale is in a sorry state despite having the potential to become a city. Natembeya said that the planned mass action will not take place anywhere within the county on his watch, emphasizing that there is no room for demonstrations in Trans Nzoia.
Raila has rallied his supporters to take to the streets on Monday for peaceful mass protests to enhance their push against Ruto’s government, which he has deemed illegitimate. The Azimio leader has launched the Movement for the Defence of Democracy and set Monday, March 20, 2023, as the day for a mega protest in Nairobi. Raila has assured critics that the demonstrations will be free of bloodshed and criminal acts, and that they will instead be characterized by peaceful picketing, protests, boycotts, strikes, disobedience, petitions, sit-ins, and demonstrations.
The demos have picked up pace in some counties, and despite Raila’s assurance, youths stormed a Communication Authority of Kenya function in Kisumu, eating food and destroying plates and equipment in tents.