Ruto to Raila: Security of Kenyans during demos is on you!

A tough-talking president said the government will not interfere with the planned protests


• "And we must tell my good friend Raila Odinga enough is enough. You cannot continue to blackmail the country." 

President William Ruto.
Image: The-Star

President William Ruto has told Azimio leader Raila Odinga that he is personally liable for the security of Kenyans and their property during Monday's mass action.

A tough-talking Ruto said the government will not interfere with the planned protests in any way but it's incumbent upon Raila that lives and property are not endangered.

"We have no problem with you organising demonstrations but please it is your responsibility to work with the police to make sure that the rest of the citizens of Kenya, their lives are not disrupted, their property is not destroyed, their business is not affected and they can go to work (then) you can carry out your demonstrations," Ruto said. 

While terming it a fair challenge, Ruto said Raila has used demos for a long to hold the country at ransom but the time was now up for him to keep using the tactic.

"And we must tell my good friend Raila Odinga enough is enough. You cannot continue to blackmail the country." 

Ruto spoke at State House, 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 yet it has a huge potential of being a city.

Natembeya said the planned mass action will not take place anywhere within the county on his watch.

"There is no room for demonstrations in Trans Nzoia. It is time to work and serve the people," he said.

Raila has rallied his supporters to pour onto the streets on Monday for peaceful mass protests in enhanced push-up against Ruto's government which he has termed as illegitimate.

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.

He launched the Movement for Defence of Democracy on Thursday last week and set Monday, March 20, 2023, as the day for mega protest in Nairiobi.

"On that day our supporters throughout the country shall stage a massive procession in Nairobi for a legitimate and inclusive government. Save the date," he said.

Raila assured critics that the demos will be free of bloodshed and criminal acts. 

"We launch a campaign of defiance of peaceful picketing, peaceful protests, boycotts, strikes, disobedience, peaceful petitions, peaceful sit-ins and peaceful demonstrations and it begins today and now."

The demos have picked pace in some counties and despite Raila's assurance, youth stormed a Communication Authority of Kenya function in Kisumu, ate food and destroyed plates and equipment in tents.

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