Nairobi News

GeneralHashtagMust ReadNewsWhat's Hot

Maandamano to resume next week amid calls for dialogue

Azimio, the opposition alliance in Kenya, has announced that anti-government demonstrations will resume on May 2, 2023, after a one-month hiatus.

The decision follows the government’s perceived failure to engage in meaningful all-party talks.

Last week, Azimio leader Raila Odinga said the protests would resume because of the government’s lack of commitment to the talks.

Also read: The cost of Azimio’s maandamano

After holding consultative meetings, Azimio leaders have decided to continue both talks and demonstrations simultaneously.

“Nothing will stop the dialogue outside parliament, the dialogue will continue while we continue with the demonstrations,” Raila said.

Despite the Kenya Catholic Bishops’ Conference’s call for the government to intervene and reduce the cost of basic commodities and its disapproval of “destructive demonstrations”, Azimio remains committed to his protest strategy.

The opposition alliance has agreed to work with the Catholic bishops to address the economic concerns of Kenyans. They also reject the Church’s characterisation of the protests as violent, unconstitutional and unwarranted.

Azimio made it clear in a statement: “Our protests have been and will continue to be peaceful unless the state unleashes police and thugs on the protesters.

The opposition is now appealing to the church to join them in calling on the state to respect Section 37 of the Constitution, which grants everyone the right to peaceful assembly and picketing.”

Also read: Raila: Police killed my grandson during Kisumu maandamano

Although bipartisan talks began last week, disagreements remain over the composition of the ad hoc committee. Kenya Kwanza opposes the inclusion of Pokot South MP David P’Kosing in the Azimio team, while Azimio opposes the inclusion of Eldas MP Adan Keynan in the Kenya Kwanza team.

National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wah said the removal of any name from the list must be referred to the leadership and respective party organs.

Members of the ad hoc committee clarified that official deliberations had not yet begun and that last week’s meeting was a familiarisation exercise.

Senate Majority Leader Boni Khalwale said: “The formal meeting will take place after the names are submitted to parliament and approved.

As the opposition moves forward with both talks and demonstrations, how the government will respond remains to be seen.

Also read: WATCH: Why Hassan Joho missed Azimio’s maandamano