Seven members of Parliament from the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) have said they will not participate in the much-hyped demonstration called by Azimio la Umoja party leader Raila Odinga on Monday.
Addressing a press conference at parliament buildings, the lawmakers Gideon Ochanda (Bondo), Mark Nyamita (Uriri), Caroli Omondi (Suba South), Paul Abuor (Rongo), Elisha Odhiambo (Rongo), Felix Odiwuor Jalang’o (Lang’ata) and Kisumu Senator Tom Ojienda, also urged their supporters not to participate in the demos.
“We want to categorically state that we will not be participating in the planned demonstrations. We equally urge our constituents to do likewise. We encourage those who will join the demonstrations to return to their normal economic and social activities as soon as possible, especially those who engage in farming, to take advantage of the current rains to plough and plant,” Mr Omondi said.
The lawmakers said the current crisis facing the country cannot be solved through political confrontation.
“It is time to have a national economic dialogue to find solutions to our collective economic challenges. Let our political competition be at the level of competing economic ideas,” Mr Omondi added.
Picket and hold demonstrations
The lawmakers said that although the Constitution guarantees every Kenyan a right to picket and hold demonstrations, those who will be exercising their right on Monday should do so in an orderly and peaceful manner so as not to infringe on the rights of others.
“We, therefore, wish to encourage all Kenyans who wish to participate in the demonstrations planned for next week, to do so peacefully and in a manner that strengthens democratic rule and does not encourage anarchy and breakdown of law and order,” Mr Omondi added.
As they welcomed President William Ruto to Migori next week to launch various development projects, they called on the political leadership of the country to embrace reasoning and dialogue as a means of finding solutions to the country’s problems.
Mr Odinga has called for demonstrations in Nairobi on Monday next week to protest a number of issues ranging from the high cost of living, nepotism in state appointments, unilateral appointment of new IEBC commissioners, audit of the 2022 General Election IEBC servers, assault on multiparty democracy and regime incompetence.