President Ruto’s Europe Trip for official business may have significant ramifications for Raila Odinga’s planned protests against the government.
According to Hussein Mohammed, the State House spokesperson, the President’s agenda in his foreign visit includes renewable energy, green industrialization, and trade, and he will engage with the leadership of the European Union, including President Charles Michel and President Ursula von der Leyen.
The President’s absence from the country during Monday and Thursday’s protests against his government means that Raila Odinga’s main goal with the protest may be affected.
Raila had earlier on indicated that his team wished to march to the State House and deliver their petition to the head of state.
However, with the President not in the country, the Azimio team may not be able to march to the President’s residence, hence forcing them to change their itinerary for both rallies.
Raila’s team had planned to use the protests to demand reforms in the electoral body and the government’s handling of corruption allegations.
The protests were expected to draw crowds of supporters who would march through Nairobi’s streets to the State House, where they would deliver a petition outlining their demands to the President.
It’s unclear how the Azimio team will adjust their plans in Ruto’s absence. Some analysts believe they will postpone the protests until the President returns, while others believe they will relocate the protest to a different location in Nairobi.
Raila’s staunch supporters have already begun to express their displeasure with President Ruto’s Europe Trip during a critical period in the political landscape.
Some have accused the President of deliberately avoiding the protests in order to avoid facing public outrage over his government’s policies.
The protests occur at a time when tensions between the government and the opposition are high, with both sides blaming the other of attempting to destroy the country’s democracy.
The government has historically used force to suppress opposition gatherings, and there are fears that Monday’s and Thursday’s demonstrations will turn violent.
What are your sober thoughts on this? Should the protests continue or should they wait until the president jets back into the country?