Azimio One Kenya Rallies Start in Earnest

11 mins read

It has been a rough day for the new Ruto media trying to go back to the Moi days where the media had to do everything possible to serenade the king and bully those opposed to his majesty.

The media went to great lengths to provide photos taken from the Kamukinji rally site in the morning to try to convince themselves and Kenyans that the whole rally was a failure because nobody turned up.

Then it became obvious that the One Kenya rally was very successful with Kenyans coming in big numbers to engage with their leaders and the media propaganda fell apart. The citizens are getting tired of the reckless and endless fumbling and bumbling of the Ruto government where the focus is on Ruto and his CS officers making meaningless roadside announcements every day when they take a break from distributing beans to starving Kenyans, carrying flags to take pictures.

This rally was a crucial beginning of what could be a tough journey for William Ruto and his government as well as for the Azimio team. It is good that the rally orginisers focused on real issues Kenyans are dealing with right now which the Ruto government is either completely ignoring or just has no clue what to do.

Kenyans will not have the patience to wait forever for Ruto to learn what his job is supposed to be. After all, the lie of new kids in the block is just total rubbish. Ruto has been in government for more than 30 years starting with his days as the Moi right-hand man in the 1990s through the Kibaki government and ten years with Uhuru and Jubilee governments which he helped to destroy from within.

The theme of the rallies and the heart of the movement called One Kenya is very fitting. Nobody is talking about dividing Kenya except those in the Ruto government who think that unity in Kenya means worshipping Ruto every day. Nobody is stopping them from doing that but they will not force everybody in the country to do the same. That is life and they will figure out how to get going.

One Kenya made very practical demands and Kenyans are going to follow up to see what the Ruto government is doing about them, a lot of which is helping Ruto to run a sensible government. For example, who can believe that Ruto is issuing billions of Kenyan taxpayer money as Hustler Fund without any legal basis for that process? That is illegal.

If Ruto wanted to give taxpayer money out, he had to go to parliament and pass a law the way Kibaki did with CDF before issuing the money. Taxpayer money is not campaign money or stolen cash you store somewhere and just throw around. All that Hustler Fund so far is illegal use of public money.

One Kenya team is helping to avoid this legal stupidity where Ruto thinks all taxpayer money in Kenya is his private cash to throw around as he wishes. Right now any Kenyan can go to court and sue the Ruto government for illegally spending public money and his government would be in a complete mess.

Here are the One Kenya Demands.

1.      There is need for Ruto regime to be put under intense scrutiny and pressure by Kenyans and be forced to return to the people’s agenda, which the regime has discarded.

2.      That the 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 failure to which Kenyans will be free to take such steps as they may deem fit to ease the burden of the yoke upon their shoulders.

3.      The Ruto regime must restore the school fees subsidy that saw the ministry reduce fees in all secondary schools and special needs schools. Ruto needs to understand that while his 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.

4.      The Ruto regime be made to immediately restore and enhance the subsidies 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.

5.      The Ruto regime be pressured and be made to institute discipline, order and clarity in its ranks so that Kenyans can have clarity on critical policy issues failure to which Kenyans will be at liberty to disobey the incoherent roadside declarations being issued by his incompetent officers.

6.      The Ruto regime be pressed to embrace the rule of law, and embark on an inclusive and consultative process of reconstituting the IEBC failure to which Kenyans will be free to resort to other measures that will enable them attain this goal.

7.      In strict adherence to the Constitution and the rule of law, Ruto be pressed to take steps to ensure that the composition of the civil service reflects the ethnic, regional, religious and gender diversity of our land and that it rewards competence and is free of tribalism, favouritism and nepotism and in compliance with the Integrity provisions of the constitution.

8.      The Kazi Mtaani project be immediately restored and be made available to those who find it useful while others pursue options like Ruto’s mjengo.

9.      Ruto be compelled to permanently discard any ideas and plans to bring GM crops and seeds to Kenya because of the grave danger they pose our health, environment and seeds. The administration must adhere to the rule of law and constitutional provisions on public participation and enactment of relevant legislation.

10.  We decry the ongoing collapse of the criminal justice system that has seen the DPP drop cases of highly placed suspects while millions of poor Kenyans with petty offences continue to rot in jail and that the DPP be made to open the jails for everyone to walk home if the office is no longer interested in upholding the rule of law and protecting the criminal justice system.

11.  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.

For those UDA loudmouths who were hoping this would be a chaotic destructive rally, they can drown in their tears. That never happened. Others were talking about the rally being about appointing the Ruto Coronation Election Board (RCEB) they too got disappointed as One Kenya demanded the most basic thing in a democracy – that the government has no powers to impose a new IEBC on them to serve Ruto.

All the issues raised by One Kenya at this rally are important to every Kenyan and that is what makes the rally very successful and a terrific start to deal with a government that thinks they own the country and everybody just has to sing for them. Ruto has enough singers for him in his UDA and he can keep them. Those who were talking about Azimio dividing Kenya can now hide in shame.

There was all the handshake talk and as I said before, my mother warned me that when you shake hands with the devil, check your fingers to see if anything is left. I doubt One Kenya is interested in that finger counting. So Ruto can keep his hands and his shake but do what is right for the country without arbitrary roadside decisions daily.

In the meantime, Kenyans for the first time saw an excavator with a red carpet for Ruto to board it. Talk about vanity. This is just so sad.

Adongo Ogony is a Kenyan Human Rights Activist and a Writer who lives in Toronto, Canada

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