Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua criticized opposition leader Raila Odinga of Azimio la Umoja for cancelling the anti-government protests planned for Wednesday. Speaking to Kenyans in Italy, Gachagua dismissed the idea that the protests were postponed, implying they never existed and that Odinga’s statement was merely a tactic to appease his followers.
According to Gachagua, Raila’s claim of postponement is an attempt to mollify his supporters, as “you cannot postpone something that is not there.” Gachagua also addressed the government’s prohibition of protests, stating that while such demonstrations are constitutionally permitted, they had been outlawed due to escalating violence.
Previously, the government had allowed demonstrations based on the constitutional provision that they should be peaceful and participants unarmed. However, the result was a near state of anarchy, forcing the government’s hand to ban the protests.
The opposition group, Azimio la Umoja, declared on Monday that the planned protests would be replaced by solidarity parades and candlelit vigils throughout the country in memory of victims of police brutality. Instead of taking to the streets, Kenyans were urged to light candles, lay flowers, and recite the names of police brutality victims in remembrance and respect. Azimio assured that they would provide a list of victims for this purpose.