Ole Kina: Saba Saba is not about Raila Odinga
Narok Senator Ledama Ole Kina has cautioned that the planned Saba Saba protest on Friday, July 7, 2023, is not about Azimio la Umoja - One Kenya coalition leader Raila Odinga.
Odinga has become the face of the anti-government protests that have been witnessed after the August general elections, but Kina, an ally of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader, has said that the demonstration is about the common Mwananchi who struggle with the high cost of living.
Saba Saba not about Odinga
"Saba Saba is not about Raila Odinga; it’s never been about him! The question is, are you pissed off enough to cause the price of Unga to come down?
"Are you mad enough about the cost of living? If the answer is yes, then get your black a ** on the street and demand change! Raila, stay at home. Let’s see if these guys you have been fighting for give a hoot in hell about their own welfare," Ole Kina said in a statement.
Amid some light downpours in Nairobi on Friday morning, the police mounted roadblocks around State House and other key installations within the city.
The police said Azimio and their supporters are allowed to hold their meeting at the Kamukunji Grounds, but protests within the city will not be allowed.
"Their meeting at Kamkunji Grounds is allowed, and they can proceed. They are not allowed to hold street protests," Nairobi police boss Adamson Bungei said.
The opposition, during their Friday press conference, made it clear why they are protesting against the Kenya Kwanza coalition.
"Ruto is imposing taxes without our consent and implementing laws that only make our lives more difficult. We cannot tolerate the current state of taxation and its accompanying injustices any longer.
"Ruto has even removed subsidies on essential goods like fuel, Unga (maize flour), electricity, and school fees, while providing subsidies to helicopter owners and financing the lavish lifestyles of his allies with our hard-earned money," Azimio's statement read.
Although sometimes the protests have turned violent, the coalition has maintained its stance against violence and reiterated its call for peaceful demonstrations.
"Violence is abhorrent to us. Our engagement in pickets, protests, tax boycotts, and civil disobedience does not advocate violence. We have never endorsed violence in the past, and we never will. We firmly believe in the law and the rule of law, and we will act within its boundaries," it added.
Saba Saba is a memorable event in the political calendar of the country as it marks the date when mass protests were witnessed against Daniel Moi's regime in 1990.
Then, it was led by Kenneth Matiba, Charles Rubia, Raila, Gitobu Imanyara, John Khaminwa, Mohammed Ibrahim, the current Supreme Judge at the Apex Court, and George Anyona.
Then, Senior counsel Gibson Kamau Kuria avoided arrest by the Special Branch as he took refuge at the American Embassy and later sneaked out of the country to the USA.