‘I wasn’t bullied to postpone Jamhuri day rally, I don’t fear anyone’ – Raila claims
ODM Leader Raila Odinga has stated that he was not bullied to postpone his Jamhuri day rally. Responding to claims that he was cowed to postpone the parallel independence day celebrations, Raila averred that his decision came after he received an invitation from the US government to attend the US-Africa Summit.
Speaking in Tana River County where he attended the Blue Economy Investment Conference in Hola, the opposition chief maintained that he does not fear anyone and that he fears only God.
"I cancelled the Jamhuri day rally after I got an invitation from the US Govt to travel to the US tomorrow for the US-Africa Summit. Some people are now saying that I was cowed. I do not fear any human being. I only fear God."
“I cancelled the Jamhuri day rally after I got an invitation by the US Govt to travel to the US tomorrow for the US-Africa Summit. Some people are now saying that I was cowed. I do not fear any human being. I only fear God” @RailaOdinga in Tana River today.— The ODM Party (@TheODMparty) December 9, 2022
"I want Kenyans to know the rally has been postponed just because I won't be there, I don't want Kenyans to say I've been bullied, who can bully me? I can't be bullied, I don't fear anyone. "
"I am going to the US tomorrow to speak with world leaders about investment opportunities in Africa, that's why the Jamhuri rally will not happen. It is not because I fear anyone," he said.
Raila set for week-long US visit
Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya coalition leader Raila Odinga is set to leave the country on Saturday, December 10 for the United States.
In a press statement, his Spokesperson Dennis Onyango said the Azimio leader will be attending US-Africa Summit in Washington, DC.
"Hon. Raila Odinga is set to leave the country late Saturday, December 10, 2022, for a one-week visit to the US where he will join other leaders from across the African continent for the US-Africa in Washington, DC.
Raila is expected to arrive in Washington on Monday, December 12, 2022, for the summit that runs from December 13-15.
"He will be attending the meeting in his capacity as the African Union High Representative for Infrastructure Development.
"In that capacity, he will lead discussions on the promotion of investment in infrastructure and attainment of Just Energy Transition," Onyango said.
The ODM leader is also lined up for a series of meetings with leaders from the public and private sectors and civil society organizations on the sidelines of the summit," he added.
Raila will be attending the summit in his capacity as the African Union High Representative for Infrastructure Development in Africa.
He will be back in the country on December 18, 2022.
Raila's parallel Jamhuri celebrations
Raila had planned parallel Jamhuri Day celebrations with his supporters on December 12 before it was canceled.
“We will not have the rally because our leader will not be present. We were waiting for confirmation and now that it is here, we can’t continue.
"Mzee (Raila) is expected to jet out of the country on Sunday for that function because he has a role to play and we can’t continue without him,” said an insider aware of the planned US tour.
Accompanied by MPs Naisula Lesuuda (Samburu West), Mark Mwenje (Embakasi West), Irene Kasalu (Kitui Woman Rep) and George Aladwa (Makadara), Minority Leader in the National Assembly Opiyo Wandayi said the cancellation had been occasioned by upcoming engagements that will keep the party’s leaders away before and after the celebrations.
Wandayi said the engagements had not been confirmed when the coalition initially scheduled the parallel event.
“We wish to announce that Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition Party will not hold a parallel Jamhuri Day celebrations on 12th December 2022 as earlier planned,” said Wandayi.
He said that despite the cancelation of the event, Azimio will continue to “stand together and fight together until the Ruto administration addresses the high costs of food, fuel, school fees, electricity, transport and the need to immediately restore and enhance cash transfer to the elderly and the Linda Mama programme that covered maternal issues for economically disadvantaged mothers.”
"As we announced yesterday, we reaffirm that even with the cancellation of parallel celebrations on (December) 12th , the People’s Dialogues shall continue in one way or another, in public and in private, in the coming days, weeks and months in different parts of the country,” he said.
He added: “As things stand, the basic necessities mentioned above rank as more urgent. We encourage Kenyans to demand these fundamentals even at the Nyayo celebrations and everywhere else.”
But Kenya Kwanza claimed the decision to call off the rally was because they had no agenda for Kenyans.
Addressing a news conference yesterday, six MPs said Azimio la Umoja only wants to take advantage of the people’s vulnerability.
Led by Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei and Mathira MP Eric Wamumbi, the lawmakers, however, welcomed Azimio’s decision to call off the parallel celebrations.
“We have heard that the Azimio la Umoja side have cancelled their rally. They are now reasoning. It would have been unpatriotic of them to proceed with the rally. It would have been bad manners and an insult to our founding fathers whom we will be celebrating on Monday,” said Cheraragei.
Wamumbi said Azimio cancelled their rally because “the rally they had yesterday bore no fruits as it was full of threats”.
“Their demands are always useless and not pro-people,” he said.
On Wednesday, Raila led the Azimo la Umoja leaders and supporters at a rally at the Kamukunji grounds where they made a number of demands including reinstatement of Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) bosses who have resigned to avoid facing a tribunal formed to investigate them.
Addressing a press conference in Nairobi on Monday, Azimio leaders led by Raila and Martha Karua said the “public consultations with patriots” will be held at Jacaranda Gardens in Nairobi.
“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.