Today is the start of the #Maandamano demonstrations of Azimio la Umoja – One Kenya Alliance. Azimio and Raila Odinga has called for the supporters to go to the streets and be vigilant. In such regard, that he called today, the 20th March a public holiday. A lot businesses ceased to operate and closed before the day started. Certainly, there will ripple effects of the demonstrations committed in the name of Odinga.
Alas, Odinga has done this all before. Yet, again we are seeing and hearing of innocent citizens dying as a part of the protests. There are also looting, destruction of public property and targeted offices, which has been destroyed completely. That’s is circumventing the rights to assemble and the rights to protest.
However, Ruto and the authorities are wrong by issuing tear-gas, violently and brutally arrest civilians. The extra judicial killings of today isn’t what should happen. The citizens shouldn’t fear for their lives, while crying out their grievances. That is just a mere fact and Ruto cannot run away from that.
Nevertheless, Odinga and Azimio is testing the Kenya Kwanza Government. The Azimio leadership and the means of civil disobedience is obvious. Odinga has used these means before and it isn’t anything new. Odinga has been busy protesting, swallowing tear-gas and accepting the plights of the common man. This trope is part of the fabric of who Odinga is…
That’s why Odinga should decide if the demos are about the “cost of living” or toppling Ruto. Because, the messaging from Azimio camp seems torn between the two. You cannot fight for the cost of living and expect the man who you want to get rid of to help you with that. Ruto either has to stagnate inflation and the rising prices or he has to step down. You cannot expect that the President and his government will do both. That’s just foolish and naive.
Secondly, Odinga will have more issues to deal with. We know he wants electoral reforms and more control of any sort action happening to the IEBC. That’s just what he does and he did the same with the OKOA demos too. So, we have seen this all happening before… Odinga has fought this same sort of battles for decades and his supporters has paid the price for him. Which is happening today too…
Odinga and Azimio has choices to make. They cannot fight every battle, every Monday and expect KKA government to listen. Why should Ruto listen, if they are wanting his head? Who would like to get dethroned, when they have just been in office for a year or so. Seriously, he finally became the His Excellency and Odinga expects Ruto to give it up… you must be delusional. The only thing Odinga can achieve is a handshake and a honorary title. That is what he accepted by the predecessor Kenyatta. So, why not do the same now? He did it surprisingly before and why not repeat it again?
Especially, when Azimio cannot decide what is the goal or the ambition of the demos. They should have figured it out. Nevertheless, the more causes, the merry, I suppose. Odinga and his allies should consider the way ahead. The hubris and the adrenaline is fine while it is pumping. However, the moment that disappear the weakness and fatigue will settle in.
Ruto has the authorities and the machinery on his side. Just like Kenyatta did during the two previous terms. So, it is not like Odinga has an advantage. No, his is in the same pickle and on the same streets as before. Begging for a bigger role and an prestigeous office. Peace.