Inside Politics

‘Raila is safe’ – Wandayi breaks silence on Azimio leader’s absence in demos

Thursday, July 20th, 2023 16:29 | By
'Raila is safe' - Wandayi breaks silence about Raila's absence in demos
National Assembly Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi (center) during consultative meeting with Azimio leader Raila Odinga and a section of the coalition legislators in Nairobi on July 17, 2023. PHOTO/Opiyo Wandayi(@OpiyoWandayi)/Twitter

National Assembly Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi says opposition leader Raila Odinga is safe and sound amid concerns about his absence at ongoing anti-government demonstrations.

Raila early this week called for a three-day protest against the high cost of living but has been missing in action since the demonstrations kicked off on Wednesday, July 19.

Addressing journalists at parliament buildings on Thursday, Wandayi defended Raila's absence, saying the opposition campaign had metamorphosised into a people's movement and doesn't require Raila's presence to succeed.

“You must understand that this is now a people’s movement and doesn’t require the presence of any leader to succeed. All of us are contributing to this cause hence there’s no cause for alarm whether you see the leaders physically or not,” Wandayi said.

The Ugunja legislator, however, assured Raila's supporters that the former prime minister is safe.

“Baba is very safe and is alive and kicking. When you see us here you see Baba. The protests are not his own,” he added.

Raila was last seen in public on July 12, Wednesday when he led opposition leaders in a press conference to protest the killing of at least eight protestors in various parts of the country.

Raila online presence

However, the ODM party leader has maintained his online presence, encouraging his supporters to resist President William Ruto's administration and also demanding release of those arrested during yesterday's protests.

The 'third wave' of anti-government protests entered the second day on Thursday.

Yesterday, Azimio co-principal Martha Karua said the three-day protests will continue as planned.

In a statement, the Narc Kenya party leader said that day one of the third wave of demonstrations across the country was "extremely successful".

"We salute the gallant Kenyan patriots who braved police teargas, water canons and bullets by turning up in their numbers to express their sovereign will. Once again, the people have spoken loudly and clearly by denouncing the punitive taxes imposed on them by the illegitimate Kenya Kwanza regime through the ill-fated Finance Act 2023. In one accord, the people have declared that if the regime cannot listen to them, they will liberate and fend for themselves," Karua stated.

Karua said that the opposition would press on with the demonstrations on Thursday, across the country.

In Nairobi, Karua said that the opposition would have three venues where the people shall assemble, including Hururna Grounds, Kangemi Grounds and Central Park.

The opposition called for 3-day protests across the country to demonstrate against the high cost of living, reconstitution of the electoral commission and the raid of opposition parties by the government among other issues.

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