Ruto meets ‘ODM rebels’ at State House ahead of Raila’s Saba Saba rally
President William Ruto on Wednesday met several legislators from the ODM party from Nyanza region at State House Nairobi, just days ahead of the planned Saba Saba rally by the Opposition.
The delegation that met the president included Kisumu Senator Tom Ojienda, and Members of Parliament Gideon Ochanda (Bondo), Caroli Omondi (Suba South), Elisha Odhiambo (Gem) and Mark Nyamita (Uriri). Also present was Paul Abuor (Rongo) and Phelix Odiwuor aka Jalang’o (Lang’ata).
After the meeting President Ruto said he ready to work with all leaders in the country regardless of their political affiliation.
“We will work with leaders across the country without reservation or discrimination, regardless of political affiliation, to deliver services to the people. This is what the Constitution demands and what all Kenyans deserve,” said President Ruto.
Political analysts have interpreted the meeting as a counter move by the President ahead of the Saba Saba rally which has been called by Azimio la Umoja – One Kenya Coalition leader Raila Odinga.
On Tuesday Azimio announced that rally will mark the beginning of civil disobedience against President Ruto’s regime amid the runaway high cost of living in the country. While launching what they termed as the Third Liberation, the Opposition coalition said the Kamukunji would not only be Nairobi but nationwide.
“The people have had enough. There comes a time when being taken for granted becomes unbearable. There comes a time when being treated as fools becomes intolerable. That time has come. Henceforth, we are taking bold measures against the illegitimate regime of Ruto in response to his actions against us,” Mr Odinga said in a statement.
“Ruto is imposing taxes without our consent and implementing laws that only make our lives more difficult. We cannot tolerate the current state of taxation and its accompanying injustices any longer. Ruto has even removed subsidies on essential goods like fuel, unga (maize flour), electricity and school fees while providing subsidies to helicopter owners and financing the lavish lifestyles of his allies with our hard-earned money. It is evident that we are dealing with a heartless tyrant who shows no regard for the people. We are determined to rectify this situation,” Mr Odinga further said.
The coalition said during the Saba Saba rally, they will commence a signature collection campaign to reject the government’s punitive tax policies, while reiterating that their will be peaceful protest.
“Our engagement in pickets, protests, tax boycotts and civil disobedience does not advocate violence. We have never endorsed violence in the past and we never will. We firmly believe in the law and the rule of law and we will act within its boundaries. Our sole weapon is our sovereign power to protest, boycott, and engage in civil disobedience. We exercise this power starting on Friday, July 7th,” Mr Odinga said.