Raila to President Ruto: Listen to Kenyans, or face a battle never seen before in Kenya

Raila to President Ruto: Listen to Kenyans, or face a battle never seen before in Kenya

Azimio leader Raila Odinga and President William Ruto at the Nyayo National Stadium during the Mashemeji Derby on May 14, 2023. PHOTO | COURTESY

Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition party leader Raila Odinga has hit out at the President William Ruto-led Kenya Kwanza government for allegedly turning a deaf ear to issues being raised by Kenyans concerning some of the administration’s policies.

Mr. Odinga, in a statement to newsrooms on Saturday, urged the government to start paying attention to the country’s citizens, or risk igniting a one-of-a-kind revolt never before witnessed in Kenya.

“Kenya Kwanza two options; face and listen to Kenyans, or ignore them and face a battle with Kenyans never seen before in this country,” he stated.

According to the opposition chief, the issues his side has been raising and fighting for have much more to do with shielding Kenyans than benefiting his own self.

Citing his demand for reforms at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Mr. Odinga stated that electoral body as presently constituted could possibly lead to anarchy in the country in the not-so-distant future.

A dysfunctional and distrusted Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission poses no personal threat to Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka, Martha Karua, Jeremiah Kioni, Mwangi wa Iria or any other Azimio leader,” he said.

“Instead, it presents a clear and present danger to the current and future stability of our nation and the growth of democracy in Kenya. A situation where all IEBC commissioners, and, by extension, members of any board, are required to agree with whatever the Chairman says or does is a serious danger to future elections and anyone can be a victim.”

He added: “Yet that possibility is with us, in light of what befell the four dissenting commissioners. In leading the calls for a transparent and inclusive reform to the 1EBC, I am acting for posterity, in the best interest of the nation.”

The former premier fingered the President Ruto administration for alleged tribalism in its hiring process, hence arguing that his contestations to this seeks to level the playing field for other equally or more qualified Kenyans who are skipped during employment presumably because of their last names.

He went on to voice his concerns about the much controversial proposed 3 per cent housing fund levy, which he said most citizens will be unable to afford since their pay slips are already filled with too many tax deductions.

“Like my counterparts in Kenya Kwanza, I can afford the costly unga, fuel, electricity, paraffin and sugar, among other expensive items. But I know millions of Kenyans can't. I also know that high prices, compounded by poverty and a regime that does not care, is a toxic mix waiting to explode. In speaking out, I am trying to pre-empt the worst for Kenya,” said Mr. Odinga.

“With its artificial majority in Parliament, attained through bribery of MPs, Kenya Kwanza has inflicted pain after another on suffering Kenyans. It is anyone's guess what Kenya Kwanza would do if it succeeds in turning Kenya into a one party state. In standing up for respect for parties, Raila Odinga is not fighting for himself.”

The opposition stalwart further hit out at the Kenya Kwanza administration for stifling innovation and limiting the options of the youth to earn a living by seeking to introduce a tax on digital content monetization.

He also dismissed the proposal to hike the levy on beauty products saying it will hurt the sector which is a source of livelihood for millions of youth.


Raila Odinga Kenya Kwanza Azimio President William Ruto

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