Atheists president Harrison Mumia: Azimio protests are in bad faith
President of the Atheist Community in Kenya, Harrison Mumia has called out Azimio la Umoja – One Kenya Coalition leader Raila Odinga for the protests that have led to destruction of property in recent weeks.
In a statement, Mr Mumia said the protests are hurting the cause that the coalition is attempting to advocate for.
“It is our position that the Raila-led weekly protests are being called for in bad faith. We have continued to witness violence and disrespect of people’s properties, with protestors destroying businesses, burning police vehicles and injuring others,” Mr Mumia said.
“While the protesters and the leader of the opposition may feel they are accomplishing something, we believe they are hurting the cause they are attempting to help. Peaceful demonstrators would make their position known in a more lasting way,” he added.
The protests resumed on Tuesday this week after a month-long break to allow bipartisan talks to take place between the government and the opposition. Azimio had planned to staged more protests on Thursday, but Mr Odinga later called off protests.
The bipartisan talks hit a snag after the government picked some representatives who are allied to Azimio coalition to represent them, promoting Mr Odinga to announce the resumption of the protests. The opposition claimed the government never intended to sit down and have talks with the opposition and swore to return to the streets.
Among the opposition’s key demands is the lowering of the cost of living in the country, opening of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) servers for a forensic audit to establish who legitimately won last year’s presidential election as well as halting of the recruitment of new IEBC commissioners.
Azimio has also faulted President William Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza Alliance of weakening the opposition by poaching their members.
Prior to Tuesday’s protests, the government had banned demos citing destruction of properties witnessed during previous protests. However, Azimio defied the government order and went ahead with their plans.