Jalang'o, Ojienda, and five other ODM elected leaders to skip Monday March 20 protests

for Tv47 Digital March 18, 2023, 06:50 AM
Seven odm rebels
The leaders from opposition ODM party say the country will only move forward through unity and peaceful consultations.

In Summary

  • ODM leader Raila Odinga has called for the protests to pile pressure on the administration of President Ruto over a raft of issues. 
  • The seven rebel ODM leaders say it's not the time for 'maandamano'; Instead, leaders should focus on steering country back on track.  

Seven leaders from the opposition Orange Democratic Movement say they will not participate in the Monday March 20 protests. 

Felix Odiwuor Jalang’o (Lang’ata), Gideon Ochanda (Bondo), Mark Nyamita (Uriri), Caroli Omondi (Suba South), Paul Abuor (Rongo), Elisha Odhiambo (Rongo), and Kisumu Senator Tom Ojienda, say that while they acknowledge the right of every citizen to picket as an expression of their political aspirations, the current economic challenges facing Kenya will not be resolved by political confrontation and other forms of political partisanship.

"We appreciate that such actions [picketing] are essential to the advancement of our democracy," they said in a statement released on Friday evening. "It is our firm belief that such demonstrations must be peaceful and orderly, and not injure the rights and property 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."

The leaders who have taken a principled stance against ODM leader Raila Odinga added:  "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."

They added that instead of 'maandamano', leaders from across the political divide should champion for a National Economic Dialogue to find solutions to the collective economic challenges. "Let our political competition be at the level of competing economic ideas."

ODM leader Raila Odinga called for the protests to pile pressure on the administration of President Ruto over a raft of issues- including high cost of living and alleged malpractices surrounding the 2022 presidential election. 

President Ruto is set to visit Migori County next week to launch several development projects. The seven leaders have welcomed the visit. 

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