• You can take this to the bank, Azimio leaders have spotted huge political opportunities in disrupting the normal order of business.
• Kenyans beware. They are not fighting for you. They are fighting for themselves.
On March 20, Azimio la Umoja started what they termed as nationwide protests against the Kenya Kwanza Alliance administration.
The protests, as they said, are purportedly intended to, inter alia, coerce President William Ruto's government to lower the cost of living, force the electoral commission to open their servers and to march to State House to install someone they think won the 2022 presidential election as president.
The right to protest and picket are sacrosanct in the Constitution and, therefore, Azimio brigade has the right to demonstrate as long as they follow the law and they do so peacefully.
However, inasmuch as Azimio has the right to hold peaceful protests it is worth noting there is absence of legitimate concerns in their bucket-list of demands warranting the demos. In fact, they are using the cost of living as a smokescreen to legitimize their protests. That is why it has been sneaked in there.
Believe you me, the devil is in the details of the Azimio bucket list. For if Azimio is genuinely concerned with the cost of living then we must ask ourselves these questions: When did they realize the cost of living is high? Did they just wake up after losing the presidential contest to learn that Kenyans are suffering?
Where were they when the economy was crumbling and limping to its deathbed under the previous regime of former President Uhuru Kenyatta?
But more importantly, the new administration has been in office in just under six months. Is this enough time to clean the mess created in the economy over the years with Azimio leaders as co-conspirators in the larger scheme of things? Certainly not.
Therefore, in view of the foregoing, it is incumbent upon us to call their bluff and declare in no ambiguous terms that the agenda they are propagating is not in the best interest of the public. It is meant to serve the selfish interests of Azimio politicians, who are still smarting from the loss they suffered in 2022.
The scheme is to destabilize the country, puncture the economy and force the government to agree on a deal. These deals cut behind closed doors more often than not do not benefit the common mwananchi but a few politicians.
I am not making this up. If you have lived in this country long enough or you are well versed with our history as a country, you will know that this has been the modus operandi in every subsequent election and Azimio leader Raila odinga has perfected this art so well he is sure of succeeding in every attempt.
His strategy succeeded with former presidents Daniel Moi, Mwai Kibaki and Uhuru. The assumption on the face of it is that President Ruto will not be any different.
The expectation in Azimio camp is that the President will have no choice but to kowtow to their demands for the sake of peace. If all goes as carefully planned by the protest organizers, you will see the weakly protests ceasing, with the leaders retreatiung to their cocoons and the phrase “high cost of living” will not appear anywhere in their vocabulary.
That is why I postulated at the onset that these protests are not in the core interest of Kenyans. Not a single one of them. Because in the past two weeks they have done more harm than good. Businesses have recorded huge loses, many more have been vandalized by violent protesters and different shades of injuries have been registered.
Farmers have been frog-matched from their farms to the streets thus causing them to miss an opportunity to utilize the ongoing rains to tend to their farms during this planting season; a phenomenon that will come back to bite hard when the country will fail to realize sufficient harvest which then beats the logic of the protests in the first place.
Yet all is not lost. Kenyans are highly informed and they have read the mischief in the minds of the anarchists pretending to lead the protests. You have seen that as opposed to the past, when Kenyans would come out in their numbers during such protests, this year’s protests suffered a fatal setback when they recorded poor turnout to the chagrin of its organizers.
Only a handful of protesters honoured the call to go to the streets. We saw some protests in selected areas in the slums in Nairobi and failed attempts at disrupting businesses in Migori, Homa Bay, Kisumu and Siaya counties.
On Monday 27 attempts to invade the Nairobi Central Business District by Azimio leaders and their supporters were successfully neutered by the security agencies. Normalcy was reported in the rest of the country, a comforting sign that Kenyans refused to heed to the calls to protest.
Which means that even though the cost of living is unbearable to many Kenyans they fully apprehend that the government is leaving no stone unturned in ensuring that the cost of living is brought to manageable levels. They also understand that destroying businesses and causing chaos is not a panacea to their problems. Concrete and sustainable economic interventions by the government are the only ingredients to an improved economy.
Finally, Kenyans appreciate that the protest leaders are only interested in what they will get out of the protests. As far as it concerns the plight of Kenyans, it is none of their business.
You can take this to the bank, Azimio leaders have spotted huge political opportunities in disrupting the normal order of business. Kenyans beware. They are not fighting for you. They are fighting for themselves.
The writer is the party leader of MDG party and Ugenya MP