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Raila hits out at Ruto for ‘reversing democratic gains’

Azimio leader Raila Odinga has accused President William Ruto of reversing the gains the country has made on the democratic space.

Speaking to mourners during the burial of two Azimio supporters in Luanda, Vihiga County, on August 12, 2023, Mr Odinga hit out at Ruto for lauding the Police for clamping down on demonstrators during the recent anti-government protests.

The opposition and human rights activits have announced that up to 22 people died owing to police brutality during the protests championed by Mr Odinga, and aimed at putting pressure on the government to reduce the high cost of living.

Mr Odinga, formerly a Prime Minister, expressed concern on the way the Police handled the protestors which he said was against the law.

The Kenyan law allows for peaceful protests.

Mr Odinga further claimed the Ruto-led administration has treated the current Constitution as a mere book, disregarding its laws and regulations.

“The events that transpired during efforts to rectify the government show that the Constitution exists in writing but not in practice. It’s disheartening that we fought for democracy and a new Constitution, yet neither is being respected,” the leader of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party explained.

Odinga’s assertions come amid the much-anticipated bipartisan talks between Kenya Kwanza and Azimio la Umoja, aimed at addressing the escalating political tensions.

“Those who assumed office in 2022 (referring to the president and the deputy) are the same ones who oppressed Moi’s opponents. Kenya has reverted to dictatorial leadership.”

Mr Odinga, however, reiterated that the opposition will not waver in its commitment to the nation’s democracy.

During the protests, amateur video footage showed people donning Police uniform pulling unarmed residents from their houses in Kisumu and battering them.

Separate footage by journalists showed policemen dressed in civilian posing as journalists and arresting innocent citizens.

Police have since claimed the opposition hired dead bodies and posed them to the public as victims of police brutality.

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