Maandamano! Justina Wamae disagrees with former boss George Wajackoyah
Former Roots Party deputy leader Justina Wamae says protests are not the only option in putting pressure on President William Ruto’s regime to lower the cost of living.
Ms Wamae was responding to a call by the Kikuyu Council of Elders who have asked Azimio la Umoja party leader Raila Odinga to stop the bi-weekly protests as they are affecting businesses.
Mr Odinga, who finished second to President William Ruto in the August 2022 presidential polls, has warned he will consistently lead his supporters to the streets in protests each week to exert pressure on the government to lower the cost of living and initiate electoral reforms.
Further, the elders asked Mr Odinga to allow President Ruto time to work and better the economy.
“When a person is sick and they are taken to hospital, gets prescribed for drugs but passes on, Kenyans become very bitter. Why then are you allowing this drug called maandamano to kill our country and economy?” posed Wamae, who, alongside George Wajackoyah, vied for the presidency in the August 2022 polls and finished third.
Incidentally, Wajackoyah has been at the forefront at leading protests alongside Mr Odinga.
On March 20, 2023, Kenyans from across the country heeded the call by Mr Odinga and moved to the streets in protest, on a day, Mr Odinga unlawfully announced would be a public holiday.
A day before the riots, Nairobi police boss Adamson Bungei declared the protests illegal saying Mr Odinga did not inform the authorities of the protests in time as required by law.
The police boss said if the law was followed through, the police would have ensured no destruction of property as they would have put measures to protect Kenyans and their businesses.
However, Mr Odinga and his supporters turned a deaf ear to the instructions and still went to the streets.
The protests led to running battles between the police and protestors that left two people dead, dozens injured, and about 200 arrests, including four MPs.
Mr Odinga has since announced there would be protests every Monday and Thursday up until their cries were heard.