KENYA: Azimio party leader Raila Odinga has called off the countrywide mass protests. in Kenya.
Speaking during a press conference at his Capitol Hill office on Sunday, April 2, Odinga confirmed that the mother of all demonstrations would not take place on Monday, April 3, as earlier planned.
“In view of the foregoing, we stand down our demonstrations for Monday, April 3, 2023.
“I believe that Kenya is facing its worst crises in decades after which we can either recover or go the way other failed states,” Odinga declared.
The decision came after President William Ruto offered to engage in dialogue over some of the key issues raised by Azimio during the demonstrations. However, had one condition.
“In accepting the call for dialogue we ask that all arrests and prosecutions related to our demonstration be stopped with immediate effect,” Odinga stated.
Odinga accepted the call by President Ruto for dialogue over the constitution of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
“We agree that a balance parliamentary process co-chaired by both sides and backed by experts from outside should proceed. This committee should be composed with immediate effect with strict deadlines for resolving the crises facing the country,” he declared.
Nonetheless, he reiterated that Ruto had to officially respond to the offer lest he would recall the protests.
“Should there be no meaningful engagement or response from Ruto to our counter-offer, we will resort to resuming our demonstrations after one week,” the Azimio.
The Opposition Chief clarified that his party and its supporters did not engage in the destruction of property and blamed it on detractors hell-bent on painting the demos in a bad light.
He further called on the police to exercise more restraint when engaging protesters.