By Orenge Wycliff
“I want to side by the clergy to say that the president should not take the political move by the Rt. Hon Raila Odinga because Raila Odinga is a representative of the citizens of this country.”Mr. Benard Nyamwaro-Director communications- Juhudi Africa.
The high cost of living is a challenge that has faced many Kenyans and a good number could hardly afford two meals a day. Consequently the people of Kenya have taken into the streets to demonstrate over the high cost of living in the past few weeks. With the demonstrations resuming 2 weeks ago after the failed bipartisan talks and the passing of the finance act of 2023/2024 which is perceived to bring about more burdens to the Common Mwananchi.
During their campaigns as Kenya Kwanza, President Ruto promised the people that his main agenda was to bring the cost of living down to accommodate the common Mwananchi in the likes of Mama Mboga and the Mtu wa Bodaboda. Well, a few months into office, the cost of living has drastically gone up to a point where a 1pkt of 2kg Unga currently goes at Ksh. 240 while other bills like NHIF, Electricity, have gone up and are expected to shoot even further if the finance bill that was passed in parliament but suspended by the court finally sees the light of the day.
While addressing the issue of demonstrations that are ongoing, Mr. Nyamwaro has urged the president and the opposition Leader Raila Odinga to sit down and have reasonable talks that will see them agree on how to cool down the political temperatures in the country. He asked Mr. Odinga to address the citizens of Kenya on cost of living and ask them to engage in a peaceful demonstrations where there will not be deaths nor destruction of property for the right to assemble and picket is enshrined in the constitution of Kenya.
This comes barely a day after the interior cabinet secretary Prof. Kithure Kindiki said that he has not stopped anyone from demonstrating but went ahead to warn the former leaders to cease from derailing the current leaders by sabotaging their efforts to bring the country together. Mr Kindiki asked those supporting demonstrations to ask their followers to cease from destroying other peoples property.
CS Kindiki through a statement on Twitter said while the government respects the constitutional right to demonstrate, it must stick to the confines of the constitution, including the stipulated time and devoid of violence.
“The government respects and upholds the constitution and all its provisions, including the freedom of association and assembly, the right to demonstrate, picket, and petition. The Government has not banned public rallies and gatherings. The public order act clearly allows such rallies to be held between 6am and 6pm. However, anyone planning to cause chaos, sabotage the economy, and engage in lawlessness will be dealt with firmly and decisively, in accordance with the law,” said the CS.
“The government respects and upholds the constitution and all its provisions, including the freedom of association and assembly, the right to demonstrate, picket, and petition. The Government has not banned public rallies and gatherings. The public order act clearly allows such rallies to be held between 6am and 6pm. However, anyone planning to cause chaos, sabotage the economy, and engage in lawlessness will be dealt with firmly and decisively, in accordance with the law,” said the CS.Prof. Kithure Kindiki- CS Interior
The CS went ahead to warn the protesters that anyone that will go against the law shall be dealt with according to the provisions of the law
“Anyone planning to paralyse the economy, injure innocent citizens, loot private property, and vandalise public property on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or any other day, not just in Nairobi but across the 47 Counties in the country will be dealt with accordingly,” he noted.
Mr Benard Nyamwaro has therefore called upon the demonstrators to do it peacefully and mind the lives and properties of other people for the country can’t afford to lose more lives and billions in the subsequent demonstrations.