Opposition leader Raila Odinga on Wednesday, February 22, announced that he will lead mass protests in 14 days if the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition’s demands are not honored by President William Ruto.
Raila is demanding changes in the formula for choosing Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) members and lowering the cost of living.
Speaking during a political rally in Kakamega on Saturday, February 25, the former Prime Minister declared that the Kenya Kwanza government has 11 days left to accede to his demands.
Raila who unsuccessfully vied for the country’s top seat in the 2022 elections has previously staged mass protests that have paralyzed economic activity and caused loss of lives, forcing sitting governments into power-sharing negotiations.
As such, allies of Kenya’s President William Ruto now want Raila to face sanctions including a travel ban to Europe and the West over his calls for mass action.
Led by National Assembly Deputy Majority Leader Owen Baya, the leaders have asked Raila to put on hold his plans to hold mass protests saying that they will ask the international community to punish him.
“Raila has earned a name for himself for being a Democrat. But if he starts behaving like a rebel, we will ask the international community to punish him,” Owen Baya said as quoted by the Sunday Nation.
The MP further suggested that Raila Odinga be denied the privileges he enjoys both locally and internationally by virtue of his former office, among them access to VIP lounges at airports.
The lawmaker argues that Raila’s pronouncement of seeking to reclaim his “stolen victory” is dangerous and says it should not be ignored by the international community.
Similar travel and economic restrictions have in the past proved to be effective in softening political hardliners who fear losing access to their overseas investments and access to advanced healthcare.