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Raila ditches fuel-guzzlers, rides matatu to work

Raila Odinga caused excitement in the streets of Nairobi and social media when he decided to board a public service vehicle (PSV) to the Central Business District (CBD) on July 10, 2023.

Usually, Mr Odinga arrives at his Capitol Hill office in Nairobi minutes after leaving his home in Karen, an upmarket suburb, as he normally commutes in high-end cars with chase cars and detailed security in tow.

However, this was not the case on Monday as the five-time presidential candidate elected to use a matatu after walking a few meters from his house.

While inside the matatu, Mr Odinga appeared to listen attentively as passengers narrated how the cost of living has become unbearable in recent times.

“Baba save us, we are suffering, the price of cooking flour has gone up,” an excited passenger was heard saying.

He spoke less, saying he elected this mode of transport to experience the challenges many Kenyans face on a day to day basis.

Upon arrival in town, the 78-year old, dressed in a matching blue kaunda suit, strolled around town before settling at a city resturant for breakfast.

This necessitated a traffic snarl-up with Kenyans struggling to get a glimpse of him and shake his hand.

The ride a matatu to town move, comes at a time Mr Odinga has called for a fresh round of countrywide protests aimed at what he describes as the high punitive taxes.

Addressing a recent rally at the Kamukunji grounds in Nairobi, Mr Odinga, who finished second behind President William Ruto in the 2022 presidential elections, urged Kenyans to boycott paying taxes in defiance of the recently passed Finance Act 2023.

The new laws seek to increase fuel prices and further tax every salaried Kenyan with the proceeds channeled towards building affordable housing.

Mr Odinga also urged Kenyans to reduce non-essential travel by walking to work instead of driving.

“Let us arrange to make regular journeys in a single vehicle whenever possible; give each other a ride, cut down on non-essential travel and walk instead of driving whenever possible,” Mr Odinga said.

“Let us deny Ruto the fuel tax by limiting consumption of petrol and diesel. One way to do this is to carpool.”

Mr Odinga has since launched countrywide collection of 10 million signatures as a step of sending President Ruto and his administration home.

The politicians stressed that Kenyans are struggling to feed their families with the high cost of living, and newly introduced taxes by the Kenya Kwanza regime.

He has called for more countrywide protests on July 12, 2023.

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