On Friday, July 7, the former prime minister Raila Odinga engaged police in running fights across Nairobi while his close friends started rallies of a similar nature in the counties as a change of strategy to put pressure on President William Ruto.
Raila marked the Saba Saba protest in Nairobi at a rally held in Kamukunji before leading thousands of his supporters in a match to the CBD.
Speaking after entering Nairobi CBD, Raila expressed his excitement terming it as a big achievement.
“We have gotten into the CBD, that is a very huge achievement,” he said.
They were throwing teargas and shooting at us for no reason at all – Raila Odinga pic.twitter.com/j7atgvm9H8
— Citizen TV Kenya (@citizentvkenya) July 7, 2023
In a clear change of tact, other Azimio principals also staged protests against the rising cost of living and electoral injustice in their strongholds.
Former Gichugu MP Martha Karua took to the streets in Kirinyaga County while Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka led his supporter in anti-government protests in Kathiani, Machakos County.
Kalonzo was accompanied by other Wiper Party officials and elected leaders in one of the largest protests in the region since the opposition launched mass action following the August 2022 General election’s loss.
Former Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and Roots Party Leader George Wajackoyah also joined their supporters in Vihiga and Kakamega counties respectively.
Social media reports also showed Likoni MP Mbishi Mboko and Migori County Woman Representative Fatuma Mohammed leading a handful of their supporters in opposing runway cost of living and electoral justice.
Reports circulating online alleged that former Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi was taken in by the police, prematurely ending the protests in Nyahururu.
While addressing residents at Kamkunji residents, Raila accused the Kenya Kwanza regime of political party interference and failing to open election servers which they say would reveal the real winners of last year’s presidential election.
Further, the Azimio leader called out the government for imposing punitive taxes in the Finance Act amid a tough economic environment for millions of Kenyans.
The ODM leader also said that the opposition would embark on an exercise to collect signatures to compel Ruto to honour their demands.
“Time for talks is over. We will now rely on the Constitution to decide our future. We are currently collecting signatures which will determine our social strength and final resolve for self-determinations,” Raila announced.
Earlier today, Nairobi police boss Adamson Bungei had cautioned the opposition against CBD protests but the leaders vowed that peaceful protest was their constitutional right.
“We have only legalised the Kamukunji meeting and we will not allow any other meeting anywhere else. It will be a working day and at the baraza in Kamukunji we will provide security and there is no cause for alarm,” Bungei cautioned.