Azimio la Umoja one Kenya Coalition Party presidential candidate Raila Odinga on Thursday, December 8, said he will not hold parallel Jamhuri Day celebrations as earlier announced.
While National Assembly Minority leader Opiyo Wandayi said the event was cancelled because Raila will be engaged, a section of Kenyans argued that Raila feared holding a parallel national event.
However, speaking on Friday, December 9, in Mombasa, the opposition leader refuted claims that he cancelled the event because he feared President William Ruto.
The former Prime Minister said that he fears no one as the event was cancelled because he will be travelling abroad.
“Ile mkutano tulikuwa nayo siku ya jumatatu imeahirishwa kwa sababu mimi sitakuweko. Sio eti kwa sababu sisi tunaogopa mtu yeyote. Nataka wakenya waelewe, wengine wanasema ati ooh Raila amekabwa, amekabwa na nani?” Raila posed.
Loosely translated to: “I am going to the USA tomorrow to speak with world leaders about investment opportunities in Africa, that’s why the Jamhuri rally will not happen. It is not because I fear anyone.”
Raila who will leave the country on Saturday, December 10, is expected to arrive in Washington on Monday, December 12, for the summit that runs from December Tuesday, December 13, to Thursday, December 15.
During his visit, the veteran politician is expected to meet with leaders from public and private sectors and civil society organisations from across the globe.
“He will be attending the meeting in his capacity as the African Union High Representative for Infrastructure Development,” a communication from his office said.
Raila will be back in the country on December 18, where he will proceed with his anti-government nationwide protests dubbed ‘consultative meeting’ to put the new regime in check.
“He will be back in the country by December 18 to proceed with planned public programmes,” the press release said.