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Get ready for fresh ‘maandamano’, Raila declares

Azimio leader Raila Odinga has hinted at a fresh round of anti-government protests, commonly referred to as maandamano.

Speaking on Wednesday, Mr Odinga asked Kenyans to get ready for a countrywide protest aimed at putting pressure on President William Ruto to lower the cost of living.

Without sharing the exact dates, Odinga who spoke at Chungwa House after meeting members of the Gusii Community living in Nairobi, said that Kenyans should get ready for he will blow the trumpet soon.

The seasoned politician suggested the Kenya Kwanza government led by President Wiliam Ruto had failed to attend to the needs of Kenyans.

Also read: How ‘Uhuru embarassed Ruto’

“Kenyans are hurting. They are suffering. They came to power through the backdoor when they were not ready to govern and now want to pour their inefficiency on poor Kenyans,” Odinga said, adding that the proposed taxes are a great threat to common mwananchi.

“The Kenya Kwanza leadership has refused to listen to the cries of hustlers, mama mboga, boda boda riders, and other Kenyans who can barely afford two meals a day and are insisting on imposing more taxes on the already suffering populace,” Odinga said.

He noted that he will soon address the nation on the controversial Finance Bill 2023, together with his colleagues in the Azimio La Umoja Coalition, and give Kenyans the way forward.

Also read: Ruto’s ‘Sh150 to Sh200’ Unga now approaching the Sh250 mark

“They want to table the controversial bill in parliament tomorrow for the second reading and then have the Treasury CS present the budget statement on Thursday next week. They are determined to have it passed, but Kenyans will resist”, he said.

The comments come a few hours after President Ruto and his Deputy Rigathi Gachagua led the National Prayer Breakfast in Nairobi where they preached forgiveness and appeared to front the bill.

Mr Odinga led anti-government demonstrations for several weeks in early 2023, leading to loss of property and lives.

The protests were halted after President Ruto reached out and offered talks as a way out of settling the differences between his government and the opposition.

But the talks, consisting government and opposition allied lawmakers, have since collapsed.

Also read: Mistari nayo! Gachagua: How I stole my wife’s heart during her days in Alliance