What the Church has advised Raila ahead of maandamano promax
The mother of all opposition demonstrations is set to take place next Wednesday, July 19, 2023, and will unfold through Thursday and Friday.
This is the current position of the Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Alliance after they released a statement on the same today.
Following their announcement, the National Council of Churches of Kenya, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims met today to review the nation’s state in light of the demonstrations last Wednesday, July 12. Destruction of property and loss of life was reported across the country.
The opposition is demonstrating against President William Ruto’s regime, the high cost of living, the new and increased taxes imposed on Kenyans, and the replacement of IEBC commissioners in light of the disputed 2022 presidential election.
Ahead of the pro-max demonstrations, the religious leaders recognized that the country was heading in the wrong direction but called on Azimio’s leader, Raila Odinga, to employ other strategies in addressing their and Kenyans’ grievances that would not result in insurrection.
“We now appeal to you to overhaul the tactical approach adopted by the Azimio La Umoja coalition recognizing that the current push for mass action is pushing the country into insurrection.
The tension, violence and shedding of blood is making the situation worse for the people of Kenya rather than solving the problems they are struggling with,” said the religious leaders.
They also called on Raila Odinga to embrace dialogue and consultations to address grievances and promote reconciliation.
They also called on him to withdraw his Citizens’ Initiative in collecting signatures to have President Ruto and Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua removed from office.
To Kenyans, the religious leaders sympathized with those who’d lost loved ones in the demonstrations but still called on them to return to their country.
“It is time to take our country back. We must not allow the selfish interests of political leaders to destroy our homeland and push us into destitution. Since we are all hurting from the high cost of living, our best approach is to embrace non-violence as we demand for better laws and policies. Let us all resist the incitement and provocation to engage in violence and destruction which will destroy who we are and what our nation stands for,” said the religious leaders.
They further called on Kenyans to engage in public participation forums and opportunities and to take every chance to influence policy and decision-making processes.