‘They’ve met at Gachagua’s place, we know what they’re planning’ – Raila says as he confirms Thursday’s demos
Azimio la Umoja - One Kenya coalition leader Raila Odinga has alleged a plot by a section of the political class to disrupt the opposition's demonstrations scheduled for Thursday, March 30, 2023.
Speaking at Kibra in Nairobi on Wednesday, Raila claimed that those planning to counter Azimio's protests have been holding secret meetings at Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua's residence in Karen.
He said the leaders were plotting violence against peaceful protesters.
"They have been meeting at Gachagua's residence and we know their every plan. They will also meet today (Wednesday) to plan but we have people watching their moves," Raila alleged.
He maintained that the anti-government protests slated for tomorrow will continue as planned.
Raila was in Kibra to meet religious leaders from the Muslim and Christain communities in the area, where a church and a mosque were burnt down on Monday night following violent clashes involving rival groups.
The chaos erupted just hours after Raila concluded the opposition's protests in the area.
Several stalls near the mosque and church were also razed down in the Monday night attacks, where one of the groups was accused of sponsoring the violence.
The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) yesterday condemned the incidents and urged Raila to call off the opposition's weekly protests.
"The wanton destruction of cars, mosques, churches etc is not acceptable and is hereby condemned in the harshest terms possible. Such acts not only disturb the peace but also create a worry that tensions may escalate into religious conflict and ethnic profiling," NCIC chair Samuel Kobia said in a statement.
At the same time, the commission condemned attacks on the property linked to Raila and former President Uhuru Kenyatta's family in Embakasi and Ruiru on Monday.
"We were also further appalled by the actions of some who invaded private property in the name of settling age-old land rights issues that have dogged our country since before independence. The senseless destruction of property is an outright illegal act which can only lead to more acrimony," he said.
He warned members of the public against taking the law into their own hands, saying such acts were a "recipe for utter chaos".
"As the adage goes, "an eye for an eye makes a community blind" will soon become true if we continue this path of taking the law into the hands of civilians. It is also to be realized that there is no one with the monopoly for mobilizing violence. Anarchy is not justified no matter the grievance we may have. Our courts and our laws exist to ensure justice is served to all without fear or favour. Taking the law into our own hands is a recipe for utter chaos," Kobia said.
The NCIC boss called for dialogue between the opposition and President William Ruto to end the ongoing demonstrations which Raila claims are aimed at pushing the government to address the high cost of living and electoral injustice in the country.