la Umoja One Kenya Coalition Party leader
Raila Odinga now wants President William Ruto’s administration to reinstate
subsidies on products such as oil, maize floor and electricity in order to
manage the ever-increasing high cost of living.
Raila, who led the opposition into a public rally in the historic Kamukunji Grounds in Nairobi on Wednesday, lamented that the new administration has allegedly not been able to address problems facing majority of Kenyans almost two months after it came to power.
Reflecting on the current state of the nation, the former Prime Minister and his opposition coalition issued a number of demands to Ruto’s administration. He was accompanied by among others; Martha Karua (Narck Kenya), Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper) and Jubilee Secretary General Jeremiah Kioni.
“Ruto administration be pressured to institute measures to reduce cost of basic commodities particularly by restoring subsidies to unga, fuel, school fees and electricity beginning January 2023,” he said after the Kamukunji meeting in a statement sent by his Secretary Dennis Onyango.
Raila further maintained that Ruto’s government “must restore the school fees subsidy that saw the ministry reduce fees in all secondary schools and special needs schools,” insisting that while the President’s fortunes may have changed for the better, “for a majority of parents if not all, the economic situation has become worse or remained the same.”
He insists that the current government ought to immediately restore and enhance the subsidies as well in the area of social safety in the form of cash transfer to the elderly, pesa ya wazee and Linda Mama that covered maternal issues for economically disadvantaged mothers which have since been withdrawn.
At the same time, the opposition coalition is calling on President Ruto to embrace the rule of law, and embark on an inclusive and consultative process of reconstituting the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.
They insist that the four commissioners who were suspended and are up for a probe by a special tribunal formed by the President, did nothing wrong and as such there is no merit in any process to hound them out of office. So far, two commissioners; Vice Chair Juliana Cherera and Commissioner Justus Nyangaya have tendered their resignation from the electoral agency.
They further decried collapse of cases involving highly-placed suspects at the corridors of justice.
Azimio further wants the government compelled to discard any ideas and plans to bring Genetically Modified crops and seeds to Kenya, citing grave danger they pose health and environment.
To boost the economic fortunes of majority of jobless youth, Raila and his team want the Kazi Mtaani project be immediately restored and be made available to those who find it useful.
The opposition’s lamentation was not without a critique into the new administration’s major rallying agenda - the Hustler Fund, to which they poked holes.
“The Hustler Fund be constituted in line with the rule of law, correct legislation and without illegal threats to the youths who tap into it. The youth who have picked the funds must be encouraged not to panic or commit suicide in the event they default. Those who can’t pay won’t have to pay,” charged Raila