Azimio to hold parallel Jamhuri Day celebrations

Monday, December 5th, 2022 17:10 | By
Azimio Raila
Azimio leader Raila Odinga at a past rally. PHOTO/Raila Odinga/Twitter

Azimio la Umoja - One Kenya coalition is set to hold parallel Jamhuri Day celebrations on December 12, 2022, to protest what its leadership terms a violation of the Constitution by the Kenya Kwanza administration.

Addressing a press conference in Nairobi on Monday, December 5, Azimio leaders led by Raila Odinga and Martha Karua said the "public consultations with patriots" will be held at Jacaranda Gardens in Nairobi.

Raila said the rally will be peaceful and called on President William Ruto's administration not to interfere with the meeting.

“On the 12th of December, we are going to Jacaranda Gardens in Embakasi, not Kamukunji. We will be celebrating Jamhuri Day with Kenyan patriots and it is also going to be a very peaceful congregation. No protests, no picketing, although that is also guaranteed by the constitution of Kenya,” Raila said.

“If we wanted to do a demonstration or protest, we would just inform the police to provide security and do it, but we are not demonstrating or engaging in any act of thuggery and hooliganism and no property is going to be destroyed. The government should not use this as an excuse to bring thugs there to try to disrupt this function.”

The coalition will kick off the public consultations with a meeting at Kamukunji Grounds on Wednesday, December 7, ahead of the mega rally at Jacaranda Gardens.

Karua, who read the statement on behalf of the coalition, said the consultations will be about the ongoing probe on four commissioners of the Independent Electoral Commissioners (IEBC) who rejected the presidential election results announced by IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati on August 15 and other pressing national issues.

Azimio claimed the commissioners, some of whom have resigned from office, were wrongly targeted in a wider scheme by the Executive to control the electoral body ahead of the 2027 elections.

"We note that IEBC is being cannibalised the consequences of which shall grim. We are gathering to discuss these state of affairs and to remind those in authority that all legislations relating to elections in this country are normally negotiated," Karua said.

On amendment of election laws, she said, "The law they are trying to amend was negotiated in 2017. Similarly, all laws relating to elections and IEBC must be negotiated and we shall not tolerate skewed legislations trying to introduce a William Ruto electoral commission."

Azimio also faulted President Ruto over recent State appointments, accusing the Head of State of handing over government institutions to "failed politicians, crooked businessmen and machinery activists" at the expense of career civil servants.

"The appointments have been extremely skewed against other regions. We are seeing a massive return of nepotism, tribalism and favouritism in public service. These have long demoralised so many officers who have then become mere hostages to a system that they believe does not appreciate them," Karua added.

The coalition also turned up the heat on the government over the lifting of a ban on Genetically modified (GMO) crops and food.

"We want to start a robust conversation on the introduction of GMO foods and seeds in our country. We have a responsibility to educate our people about the ill effects of GMOs," she added.

"Introduction of GMOs will turn our farmers into slaves who will not be able to plant without buying from select companies."

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