Kenya’s President William Ruto on Monday, December 12, is expected to lead the country in the celebration of Jamhuri Day.
However, Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition Party presidential candidate Raila Odinga had last week said that he will hold a parallel Jamhuri Day celebration at Jacaranda Gardens in Embakasi, Nairobi.
“On the 12th of December, we are going to Jacaranda Gardens in Embakasi, not Kamukunji. We will be celebrating Jamhuri Day with Kenyan patriots and it is also going to be a very peaceful congregation. No protests, no picketing, although that is also guaranteed by the constitution of Kenya,” Raila said on Monday.
However, on Thursday, December 8, National Assembly Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi said that the opposition will not hold the parallel national event as earlier planned.
“We wish to announce that Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition Party will not hold a parallel Jamhuri Day celebration on Monday, December 12, as earlier planned,” Wandayi said.
Speaking at the Parliament Buildings in Nairobi on Thursday, December 8, Wandayi said that the Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya leaders will be involved in other engagements on that day.
“The cancellation has been occasioned by the upcoming engagements that will keep the party’s top leaders away in the run-up to Jamhuri Days and a few days after,” he added.
He however reaffirmed to the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition Party supporters that the consultative meetings will continue in one way or another and promised to give a comprehensive report on when the meetings shall continue.
“We reaffirm that even with the cancellation of the parallel celebrations, the People’s Dialogue shall continue in one way or another, in public or private in the coming days, weeks, and months in different parts of the country,” Wandayi said.
The cancellation comes just days after a section of parties affiliated with Azimio had vowed not to participate in the parallel celebrations.