The threats by Azimio coalition to revive mass protests over the high cost of living appear to have rattled President William Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza camp as the calls gather momentum ahead of the New Year.
The calls by Azimio leader Raila Odinga are gaining traction in Raila’s camp, while other independent groups, including some members of the clergy, have backed the move.
The Standard has established some of President Ruto’s allies are uncomfortable with the calls and want the opposition to restrict themselves to dialogue.
There are fears another round of mass protests is a double-edged sword that may worsen the economic woes the opposition is attempting to address with the mass protests.
This is happening as leaders and other stakeholders backed the street protests as the only way to push back against the Kenya Kwanza administration’s excesses.
Although the opposition is still keeping secret their planned modus operandi to address the high cost of living through protests, the calls have attracted criticisms from Ruto’s allies.
Yesterday, several Kenya Kwanza leaders dismissed the calls and urged the opposition to give the president time to deliver on his campaign manifesto.
They claimed the calls for mass protests could spiral out of control and damage an already fragile economy, and believe the push for a return of protests is driven by selfish interests.
Kilifi North MP Owen Baya said the opposition leaders were keen to plunge the country into some political and economic crises for their selfish benefits.
Baya said some opposition leaders still have election hangovers and were yet to accept that President Ruto defeated them in the August 2022 elections.
“It is like Raila wants other avenues to stay relevant. He should move on for the sake of the country. 2024 is the year to turn around the economy and not destroy it,” said Baya.
Mosop MP Abraham Kirwa believes the ODM leader is attempting to remain relevant in the country’s political scene through the protests.
He claimed that most of the complaints the opposition had were addressed during the bipartisan talks.
Insiders say a return to street protests will jumpstart the opposition’s major pushback in 2024 and is the alternative to challenging Kenya Kwanza’s policies away from the National Assembly where the government enjoys significant numbers.