Ruto Issues Instructions To Raila Ahead Of March 20 Protests

He further cautioned the former Prime Minister against using the protests to cause chaos

Ruto Issues Instructions To Raila Ahead Of March 20 Protests
A collage of Raila Odinga and President William Ruto. /VIRALTEAKE

President William Ruto has urged Azimio la Umoja leader Raila Odinga to work with police officers to ensure that normal operations in Nairobi are not interfered with during the Monday, March 20 protests.

Speaking at State House in Nairobi on Wednesday, March 15, Ruto stated that it was Raila's responsibility to ensure that he liaises with the police to carry out peaceful demonstrations without disrupting the normal way of life in the capital city.

"We must tell my good friend Raila Odinga...enough is enough, you cannot continue to blackmail the country. 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, and their business is not affected, they can go to work, you can carry out your demonstration.

President William Ruto addresses a meeting at State House Nairobi on Friday, March 15. /STATE HOUSE KENYA

"It's just a fair game, there's no need to clash with each other," he said.

He further cautioned the former Prime Minister against using the protests to cause chaos in the capital through wanton looting, destruction of property and loss of lives.

“The government will not allow loss of life, destruction of property and looting. We will not allow a few individuals who have refused to accept election results to cause chaos among peace-loving people,” he added.

Addressing a political rally on Tuesday, March 14, in Siaya County, the former Prime Minister revealed that the mass protests will be peaceful and not involve any kind of violence.

"We do not want any kind of violence or bloodshed. It is going to be peaceful. We are only doing this because it is the only alternative that we have," he went on.

He thereafter declared a public holiday on March 20 which will allow Kenyans to participate in the mass action. This is after his former running mate, Martha Karua lamented that Kenyans could not protest on Monday and go to work.

"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 the people chose 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 stated.

However, the United Democratic Alliance (UDA), through Secretary General Cleophas Malala affirmed that it is only the President who has the power to declare a public holiday through the Ministry of Interior.

He further called upon Kenyans to ignore Raila's declaration and carry on with their usual duties even as the Azimio coalition is threatening to stage nationwide protests in Nairobi on March 20.

United Democratic Alliance (UDA) Secretary-General Cleophas Malala and other officials address the media on March 8, 2023. /TWITTER.UDA