President Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza administration had initially looked at the demos as a Raila Odinga and Luo-only affair and laughed it off. But what was witnessed on Wednesday is a clear indication that Kenyans are tired of President Ruto and his administration
By The Weekly Vision
Many Kenyans appear to have openly defied President William Ruto’s call to show up at their workplaces and instead heeded calls by Azimio leader Raila Odinga to join the civil disobedience rally which seems to be gaining momentum. Yesterday Kenyans expressed their anger and displeasure over the manner in which the President is running the country’s affairs.
The demonstrations which began as a Nairobi and Kisumu-only affair have now spread to almost all counties, a trend that is now sending warning signals to the Kenya Kwanza administration. Another worrying trend is the big number of Kenyans signing up for Azimio’s Punda Imechoka signature collection. Barely 10 minutes after Raila Odinga and his colleagues in Azimio launched the portal, 1.2 million Kenyans have already signed up as of yesterday, the target is 15m signatures. The signatures according to Azimio, could be used to petition the United Nations to call for secession.
Sources told The Weekly Vision that the signature collection part is a big worry for President Ruto and that Wednesday’s protests sent shock waves down the spine of the President and his inner circle as sources divulged that the emerging trend if not contained at an early stage could lead to anarchy and lawlessness.
President Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza administration had initially looked at the demos as a Raila Odinga and Luo affair and laughed it off. But what was witnessed on Wednesday is a clear indication that Kenyans are tired of President Ruto and his administration. There are fears that even areas which were perceived to be Kenya Kwanza strongholds have openly rebelled and joined the Azimio demonstrations. The situation in Nakuru where a huge crowd turned out has sent mixed signals. Demonstrations in the Mount Kenya region and parts of Rift Valley as well as the counties of Nyamira and Kisii cannot be ignored.
The Kenya Kwanza government has also been caught flat-footed with serious demonstrations in Turkana, the coast region and Ukambani. The protests in Mlolongo also caught the government unawares as it was least expected. Raila Odinga’s move to cancel the Kamkunji rally at the eleventh hour also sent the security apparatus scattering not knowing whether to attack him at a press conference or not.
The Weekly Vision has information that some top Kenya Kwanza leadership are contemplating urging Ruto to reach out to Raila before the situation gets out of hand. As things stand now, the protests have made the country to lose billions of shillings in terms of taxes. Foreign investors are fleeing the country and international donors are said to be keenly watching the political events as they unfold.
Sources say those who are for the idea that a truce be brokered between Raila Odinga and President Ruto claim that the international community is likely to force the two political protagonists to come to a round table. The fear is that if the international community comes on board as was the case in the 2007/2008 post-election violence, they could force the country to do another coalition government through a power-sharing deal.
Another fear is that the international community may call order for for a snap election. A snap election is one which is called before the constitutionally schedule general elections. It is feared that the international community can push for electoral reforms that would create offices of the official opposition, office of the Prime minister, reconstitution of IEBC with commissioners being nominated by political parties then call for fresh elections and some amendments are carried out on our 2010 constitution. Ruto is aware of such eventualities hence talking to Raila Odinga is the only option before the situation gets out of hand although his hardliners have been telling him that he can contain Raila, the events of Wednesday are a clear indication that the situation will soon get out of hand.
Police sources indicated that 20 counties took part in the Wednesday protests including four counties in Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua’s backyard. The Mount Kenya counties that took part in Wednesday’s demonstrations include Nyeri, Meru, Laikipia and Kirinyaga.