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Raila defies Police, takes Maandamano message to Murang’a

Azimio la Umoja leader Raila Odinga on April 20, 2023, made a return to Central Kenya and addressed a political gathering for the first time since the August 9, 2022 polls.

Mr Odinga, who was accompanied by his colleagues in the opposition including Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka, Martha Karua, who was his running mate in the August 2022 polls, and his host former Murang’a Governor Mwangi wa Iria, received a relatively warm welcome in Murang’a and addressed a meeting despite a warning by the Police that the gathering was not to take place.

Others leaders present were George Wajackoyah, Jeremiah Kioni, Wycliffe Oparanya, and Eugene Wamalwa.

According to the police, the notice for the meeting was handed in late and there was thus little time for proper planning.

The hall in which Mr Odinga and his colleagues addressed the gathering was packed and the meeting went on without any incident.

Mr Odinga accused the President Ruto’s government of failing to fulfill its pre-election promises to Kenyans.

“They promised the price of Unga (maize flour) would go down immediately after their swearing-in. Has that happened? Which kind of government is this,” said Mr Odinga as the crowd cheered.

The meeting is part of Azimio’s ongoing engagement with the public on what Mr Odinga says is the challenges facing the country including the high cost of basic commodities, the search for electoral justice, reform and reconstitution of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commision (IEBC).

Mr Odinga’s public engagement comes a few days after he announced that he will resume anti-government protests after Ramadhan.

Mr Odinga has also demanded that talks towards ending the political differences with President Ruto be held outside Parliament.

Mr Odinga gathered less than 30% of votes cast in Central during the August polls and has insisted he was rigged out.

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