Gachagua urges MPs to suspend bipartisan talks in wake of Azimio’s mass protest
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua now wants Parliament to immediately suspend bipartisan talks with the opposition team should they live up to their affirmation of going back to the streets on Tuesday, May 2, 2023.
Gachagua said that the Kenya Kwanza government had agreed to engage Azimio la Umoja coalition leaders in parliamentary talks but their sustained threats to relaunch mass protests against the government imply they are no longer interested.
“On Tuesday, let him go to the streets but let him not dare send people to destroy the property of other Kenyans. He wanted us to talk but he now wants to resume protests. If he goes back to the streets, let him forget bipartisan talks between parliamentarians,” Gachagua said.
Speaking on Sunday evening during celebrations to mark Kikuyu gospel star Muigai Wa Njoroge’s 25 years in the music industry, the second in command noted with concern that past mass protests have seen the destruction of property and deaths and such would not be allowed to recur.
He stated that the opposition team led by Raila Odinga have in the past used chaos and protests to join the government through the back door but warned that such would not be allowed to happen during the Kenya Kwanza tenure.
While assuring that the government was well armed to protect all people and their property, Gachagua urged Odinga to choose between mass protests and parliamentary talks and urged the citizenry to go about their businesses tomorrow without fear.
Gachagua’s sentiments were echoed by scores of Kenya Kwanza politicians led by Alice Ng’ang’a (Thika MP), Trade CS Moses Kuria and UDA’s secretary general Cleophas Malala who took issue with Odinga for 'scheming to oversee the destruction of property' most of which they state belong to the people of Mt Kenya.
“Thika and the people of Mount Kenya are industrious people and we work so hard to establish enterprises. We want to be given space to work and as a people, we will not allow anyone to destroy our businesses,” Ng’ang’a said.
“We won’t tolerate his year-in year-out threat. This government belongs to Mt Kenya people and attempts by Raila to destroy it means he is destroying our government,” Kuria said.
On his part, Kiambu senator Karungo Wa Thang'wa urged the government to arrest Raila Odinga and deal with the repercussions later while his Nyandarua counterpart John Methu urged the government to give the Mount Kenya business people who operate in Nairobi permission to protect their business.
Odinga has sustained his attacks on the Kenya Kwanza government over the high cost of living, electoral reforms and mismanagement.
The former premier has been pushing the government to open the servers of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to audit the results of the 2022 General Election and stop the ongoing recruitment of new IEBC commissioners.