Police said on Tuesday that Azimio La Umoja coalition is free to hold their consultative meeting in Nairobi.

Nairobi police boss Adamson Bungei said the coalition had notified them of the planned meeting at Kamkunji Grounds in Muthurwa area.

Bungei said the police had made arrangements to ensure the meeting is peaceful and successful.

“We are on the ground to ensure the rally is peaceful. We will provide the needed security,” said Bungei.

Dozens of police officers were seen on city streets and the venue of the meeting.

The police pronouncement came ahead of the planned rally to be attended by top Azimio leaders and their supporters over Finance Act, 2023.

Previous street protests – which were called off to make way for the inter-party talks – have always ended in bloody running battles between police and opposition supporters.

In most cases, police have used excessive force to disperse demonstrators. But the police promised the meeting will be peaceful.

Azimio leader Raila Odinga is expected to return to the country on Tuesday morning after a long break in Poland.

Some of the supporters said they will welcome him at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport ahead of the people’s Baraza at the Kamkunji Grounds.

There is a likelihood of the return of a fresh wave of anti-government protests after the rally.

The planned consultative rally could mark the resumption of street protests following the passage of punitive tax measures that will add to the already high cost of living.

President William Ruto Monday assented to the law.

The coalition’s urgency to resume antigovernment protests was also necessitated by the collapse of the 14-member bipartisan talks that were supposed to address, among other things, the high cost of living.

The talks collapsed after Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza rejected opposition demands to suspend the recruitment of Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) commissioners for 30 days, as the reconstitution of the electoral body was part of the negotiations following the disputed August 9, 2022 election.

Raila was on a weeklong trip to Poland where he attended a round table with other opposition leaders.

Ruto has since issued a warning to opposition leaders, saying his government will not allow violent protests and destruction of property.

In an interview with France 24 in Paris, Ruto said the opposition should stop entertaining thoughts of unseating him.

He said that although the polls were closely contested,

Kenyans chose him to lead the country for the next five years.

“I have no problem with Raila Odinga. I have no problem with him organising protests. There are protests here in Paris. I have just asked Raila and the company not to engage in violence and destruction of property. This is all because we are a democracy,” Ruto said.

Raila, in a recent press conference before leaving the country, had told his supporters to be on standby while declaring that “should Ruto overrun the National Assembly, we will regroup and overrun him in the wider National Assembly of the entire people of Kenya”.

Facebook Comments