‘Keep off Raila Odinga’s demos’- section of ODM MPs urges Kenyans
Nine ODM rebels Members of Parliament (MPs) have asked their electorates to keep off Monday’s mass action called by their party leader Raila Odinga saying the current economic challenges facing Kenya will not be resolved by political confrontation and other forms of political partisanship.
Addressing a press conference at Parliament Buildings on Friday, March 17, 2023, the MPs said it was time to have a National Economic Dialogue to find solutions to the country’s collective economic challenges.
"Let our political competition be at the level of competing economic ideas. We, therefore, wish to encourage all Kenyans who wish to participate in the demonstrations planned for next week, to do so peacefully and in a manner that strengthens democratic rule and does not encourage anarchy and breakdown of law and order," they said in a press statement read on their behalf by South South legislator Karoli Omondi.
Omondi was accompanied by Kisumu Senator Prof Tom Ojienda and MPs Gideon Ochanda (Bondo), Mark Nyamita (Uriri), Paul Abuor (Rongo), Elisha Odhiambo (Gem) and Felix Odiwour alias Jalango (Langata).
The lawmakers reckoned that they acknowledge the right of every citizen or group of citizens to picket and hold demonstrations as an expression of their political aspirations, such actions must be done within the confines of the constitution.
"We appreciate that such actions are essential to the advancement of our democracy. It is our firm belief that such demonstrations must be peaceful and orderly, and not injure the rights and property of others," they added.
Although elected on the ODM party ticket, the leaders said they will not be participating in the planned demonstrations.
"We equally urge our constituents to do likewise. We encourage those who will join the demonstrations to return to their normal economic and social activities as soon as possible, especially those who engage in farming, they should take advantage of the current rains to plough and plant," they added in the press statement saying that reason will prevail amongst the political leadership of Kenya and God will grant Kenyans the wisdom to find the path to lasting peace and harmony in the country.
However, the MPs welcomed President William Ruto's planned visit to Migori County next week to launch several development projects.