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Go ahead and arrest me, Raila dares President Ruto



Go ahead and arrest me, Raila dares President Ruto

Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition Party leader Raila Odinga has dared President William Ruto to arrest him, signalling looming demonstrations while declaring that he will not relent in the push to install a “government of the people.”

The former prime minister also accused Dr Ruto of weaponising the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) to intimidate leaders in the opposition as he told the President to stop victimising his predecessor, Mr Uhuru Kenyatta

In a charged rally yesterday at the historic Kamukunji Grounds in Kibra, Nairobi, the opposition leader hinted at a return to mass demonstrations. 

Dubbed the “Kibra Declaration”, the Orange Democratic Movement party leader, back to the country after a week-long tour of Nigeria and Senegal, said a people-led revolution is unstoppable. 

Mr Odinga said he will not bow to intimidation by the national government as he has travelled “this road before”. 

The former prime minister was reacting to the arrest of Korogocho MCA Absalom Odhiambo, who is said to be held in Tigoni after his unconditional release by the court last week. 

“Let him go and ask [former President Daniel arap] Moi. We cannot be intimidated. I dare Ruto to arrest me but we will not relent in the push to have him out,” said Mr Odinga. “We will hold public rallies and even peaceful demonstrations. But the right time is coming,” he added. 

Azimio leader Raila Odinga

Azimio leader Raila Odinga addressing his supporters at Kamukunji grounds in Kibera, Nairobi, on February 5,2023.

Photo credit: Evans Habil | Nation Media Group

Mr Odinga maintained that President Ruto did not win the 2022 presidential election but got to State House by hijacking and subverting the will of the people. 

Resistance movement

Unveiling a youthful resistance dubbed Movement for the Defence of Democracy, Mr Odinga said Kenyans will lead in the ejection of the current government and install one that will govern with the interest of the people. 

Mr Odinga announced more political rallies across the country meant to turn up the heat on the Kenya Kwanza government. 

He said Friday’s rally will head to Mavoko in Machakos County before going to Busia County next Sunday then Rift Valley, Coast and Mt Kenya. 

Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua said the Azimio coalition will not accept “a government of the corrupt and cartels”.

“This is a fight for Kenyans, not Raila’s alone. To bring down the high cost of living, we have to fight to see the person we elected occupying State House,” said Ms Karua. She accused Dr Ruto of pretending to crack down on tax evaders yet they were inside his government.

Former Defence Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa asked President Ruto to stop fighting Mama Ngina Kenyatta but instead fight hunger by bringing down the high cost of living and school fees. 

Raila Odinga

Azimio leader Raila Odinga (second right) looks on as youth leaders speak at Kamukunji grounds in Kibera, Nairobi, on February 5,2023.

Photo credit: Evans Habil | Nation Media Group

Jubilee Party Secretary-General Jeremiah Kioni accused Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua of using the police to intimidate Mt Kenya leaders who have refused to shun the opposition and join the Kenya Kwanza government. 

On electoral reforms, Mr Odinga repeated calls to decentralise the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and joint selection of commissioners. 

“We will not allow Ruto and his sycophants to single-handedly appoint IEBC commissioners,” he said. Former Kakamega governor Wycliffe Oparanya said that, without reforms in the IEBC, there would be no elections in the country.

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