Home General Opposition leader Raila calls for an illegal ‘public holiday’ as he roots for protests

Opposition leader Raila calls for an illegal ‘public holiday’ as he roots for protests

by kenya-tribune

Azimio One Kenya Coalition party boss Raila Odinga has made good his threat to agitate for civil disobedience, peaceful picketing and anti-government mass protest after he declared Monday March 20, 2023 a ‘public holiday’ despite it not being gazetted as such as per the law.

Effectively, Raila is asking the masses to boycott work and join in the protests in pushing the government to address the fifteen points agenda among them the high cost of living.

He said the protests will be peaceful devoid of violence and bloodshed dismissing claims for handshake push as ill advised.

Further, the Ministry of Interior and National Administration is the legally mandated government entity entrusted to making such public declarations through official gazette notice.

On the D-day ad Raila had warned, the Azimio brigade is expected to stage a mass demonstration in the city.

“In the name of Azimio one Kenya Alliance, we declare that Monday, March 20 will be a public holiday.” Raila pronounced.

Already, similar protests are already btaking place in Siaya, Migori, Mombasa and Nyandarua counties.

Addressing his supporters in Siaya today, Raila appealed to Kenyans to participate in the planned countrywide mass action which seeks to compel the government to lower the cost of living.

He said the demonstrations would be peaceful as he also urged participants to conduct themselves in an orderly manner.

“We do not want any kind of violence or bloodshed. It is going to be peaceful and I have also said that we do not want any handshake. We are only doing this because it is the only alternative that we have.” Raila said.

The declaration by the former premier came after a request by Narc Kenya Party leader Martha Karua who asked him to make the declaration to enable all working Azimio supporters to participate in the demos.

She had said: “I am requesting Raila to declare that day a public holiday to allow us to complete this work. We cannot keep having elections rigging every year, it has to stop.”

“The people must use their constitutional right to ensure that they allow the person who was chosen by the people to take over the leadership of the country. Let us join the rally to save this nation. This fight is for the people of Kenya,” Karua added.

Consequently, Odinga dismissed calls by the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) whom he said requested him to postpone the protests saying that the Kenya Kwanza government had ignored his appeal to lower the cost of living.

“A group of the clergy through the NCCK have appealed to me…I want to tell them in response that we people of Azimio came to the conclusion that we need to have a protest after our ultimatum was completely ignored,” Odinga noted.

Despite Odinga’s declaration, the Kenyan Constitution only allows the Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Interior to declare a public holiday.

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