Raila Odinga, the leader of the Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Alliance Coalition Party, on March 18, 2023 spoke exclusively to TV47 and Radio 47, addressing a range of issues facing the country.
Raila Odinga spoke about upcoming demonstrations, defections of political leaders to other parties, calls for him to retire from politics, and other political developments.
Regarding the upcoming demonstrations, Odinga said that the protesters will carry white cloths, symbolizing their commitment to peaceful protests.
He said that the demonstrations are being organized by ordinary Kenyans, and not funded by any individual or group.
He cautioned that there may be efforts to disrupt the protests by instigating violence and urged the protesters to remain peaceful.
Raila Odinga on Presidential Petition ruling
On the recent court ruling,Raila Odinga stated that even though they did not agree with it, they respected the decision because they are law-abiding citizens.
He also dismissed claims by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua that he was being threatened, saying that he has more supporters than Gachagua.
Raila Odinga on Azimio defections
Odinga also talked about the ongoing political tensions, particularly between himself and President Ruto.
He stated that if there were to be any talks, President Ruto would have to agree to their demands.
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Odinga also addressed the issue of political leaders who have defected from his party, accusing them of being bought and asserting that they cannot be trusted.
He described some of these leaders as “like goats in a pen” and said that they had been “bought” by the ruling party, Kenya Kwanza.
Odinga expressed confidence that he had more supporters than his detractors, asserting that he speaks on behalf of many Kenyans.
The former Prime Minister responded to criticism that he is being funded by former President Uhuru Kenyatta.
He dismissed the claims, stating that the demonstrations are being funded by ordinary Kenyans who are committed to protecting their rights.
He also dismissed suggestions that he was being used by outside forces to destabilize the country, saying that he was acting in the best interests of the people.
Odinga also discussed the decision by President Ruto to remove government subsidies, warning that the government should prioritize the needs of its citizens before taking advice from international financial institutions like the IMF.
He suggested that the government should find ways to reduce its expenditure rather than reducing subsidies, which would hurt the most vulnerable segments of society.
Finally, Odinga addressed calls for him to retire from politics.
He responded that he would know when the time was right for him to retire, and that his decision would be informed by the will of the people.
He expressed his determination to defend the rights of Kenyans and uphold the rule of law.
He concluded, “You can kill the body but you cannot kill the spirit.”
The interview concluded with Odinga reiterating his commitment to peaceful protests and to defending the rights of Kenyans.
He called on all Kenyans to work together to build a better future for the country