Raila declares Monday a 'public holiday' as he calls for protests

Raila declares Monday a 'public holiday' as he calls for protests

Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Party Leader Raila Odinga has declared Monday, March 20, 2023, a public holiday to allow Kenyans to participate in planned demonstrations.

Addressing his supporters in Siaya County on Tuesday, the Azimio Chief appealed to Kenyans to participate in the planned countrywide mass action which seeks to compel the government to lower the cost of living.

He said the demonstrations would be peaceful as he also urged participants to conduct themselves in an orderly manner.

"We do not want any kind of violence or bloodshed. It is going to be peaceful and I have also said that we do not want any handshake. We are only doing this because it is the only alternative that we have,” he said.

"In the name of Azimio one Kenya Alliance, we declare that Monday, March 20 will be a public holiday.”

The declaration by the former premier came after a request by Narc Kenya Party Leader Martha Karua who asked him to make the declaration to enable all working Azimio supporters to participate in the demos.

She had said: “I am requesting Raila to declare that day a public holiday to allow us to complete this work. We cannot keep having elections rigging every year, it has to stop.”

"The people must use their constitutional right to ensure that they allow the person who was chosen by the people to take over the leadership of the country. Let us join the rally to save this nation. This fight is for the people of Kenya," Karua added.

Consequently, Odinga dismissed calls by the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) whom he said requested him to postpone the protests saying that the Kenya Kwanza government had ignored his appeal to lower the cost of living.

"A group of the clergy through the NCCK have appealed to me…I want to tell them in response that we people of Azimio came to the conclusion that we need to have a protest after our ultimatum was completely ignored," Odinga noted.

Despite Odinga's declaration, the Kenyan Constitution only allows the Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Interior to declare a public holiday.


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