- Officials led by Garissa SUPKEM chairman Abdullahi Salat said that as much the opposition is within their democratic right to hold protests, the Muslim fraternity will be greatly affected by the demos.
SUPKEM officials from Garissa are now calling on the Azimio One Kenya leadership to postpone their planned countrywide street protests until after Muslims are done with their holly month of Ramadhan.
Muslims from across the country will start fasting on March 23, two days after the planned country mass action that starts on march 20th.
Speaking to the press in Garissa town on Thursday, officials led by Garissa SUPKEM chairman Abdullahi Salat said that as much the opposition is within their democratic right to hold protests, the Muslim fraternity will be greatly affected by the demos.
Salat said that during fasting Muslims require a peaceful environment where they can perform their prayers something he said won’t be possible under an environment of demonstrations.
“We know what it means when people are demonstrating. In most cases, they always turn violent. People are beaten and businesses are looted. Muslim faithful will not even be able to go to mosques for fear of being victims of circumstances,” he said.
“It will be difficult to even go out to shop in the evening for two reasons. Either the shops will have been closed or the faithful will fear being caught in the ensuing melee."
Salat instead urged the opposition to dedicate their time to assisting the vulnerable families, especially in Northeastern where drought has badly affected the residents.
Salat said that as religious leaders, they were willing to bring a truce between president William Ruto and the opposition.
“The demonstrations will not in any way solve the problems we are currently going through as a country. As clerics, we are of the opinion that dialogue is the best way to go,” said Sheikh Salat.
On his part, Hassan Abdi the secretary general said that as Muslims, they want to have an uninterrupted Holly month of Ramadhan calling on the opposition to reconsider their decision.
Last week, Raila announced the start of countrywide mass action.
“Take note that on March 20, 2023, we have a date with destiny in Nairobi. On that day, our supporters throughout the country shall stage a massive procession in Nairobi for a legitimate and inclusive government. Save the date,” Raila said.
He cited 15 grounds that he said informed the need for mass action, including the high cost of living and the removal of subsidies on unga, electricity and fuel.
He said Ruto is also creating unnecessary and unconstitutional offices to reward his cronies.
Other grounds are ethnicity, importation of GMOs, over-taxation, attempt to single-handedly reconstitute the IEBC, division of the country along religious and sectarian lines and victimization of the Cherera Four.
There have already been pockets of street protests in parts of the country with the coalition indicating plans to fire up all their political bases ahead of the major processions.