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Kenyans for Peace Movement condemns Azimio demos in the country

Kenyans for Peace Movement officials have come out to condemn the demonstrations that rocked some parts of the country on Wednesday.

Led by their Chairman Edward Maina, the officials said although Naivasha remained relatively calm during the countrywide demos initiated by the Azimio-One Kenya movement on Wednesday, the town being a prime tourist destination and a home to over 70 percent of all the cut flowers exported from the country lost over Sh.3 billion due to the said demo.

In a statement read by their Secretary, Bernard Macharia Mwangi, the organization said the loss occurred due to loss of business as most businesses in the area remained closed following the tension that had gripped the country due to the demos.

“Businesses did not operate due to fear of vandalism and looting, tourists could not come for fear of their own security, and flowers could not be transported as the road leading to the airport was barricaded by the demonstrators,” Macharia said.

Speaking in Naivasha on Friday, the officials said although the right to picket is enshrined in Article 24 of the Constitution, Article 24d of the same Constitution is very clear that one person’s right to picket should not prejudice the rights of other people.

“Many sectors such as; transport, tourism, manufacturing among others were adversely affected, lives were lost, but at the end of the day, we did not see Azimio present any petition to the Government,” they said.

They said the Ruto administration inherited a myriad of problems such as; huge debts, adding that the economic challenges Kenya is going through are global and many countries are going through the same, noting that these challenges have been occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change among other issues.

“In every election, there is a winner and a loser, Kenya has a legitimate Government in place, duly elected by a majority and we Kenyans have not sent anyone to speak for us, patriotic Kenyans are guided by the Article 10C of the Constitution which states that we must adhere to the rule of law and principles of governance including patriotism, democracy, and public participation. Where was patriotism when the businesses were looted, property destroyed and the economy stifled?” Macharia paused.

They called on all patriotic Kenyans at the grassroots to come out on Monday, July 17, to show that Kenyans want peace and said they will prepare a petition to the parliament urging the government to gazette selected places in all major towns where protestors can put their grievances in designated ‘talking boxes’ to make demonstrations orderly in line with the constitution.

On Wednesday, property worth billions of shillings were destroyed around the country as Azimio-One Kenya mobilized Kenyans to go to the streets to protests against the high cost of living. Key installations such as the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) and the Expressway in Nairobi were destroyed.

With the Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary (CS), Mr Onesmus Kipchumba Murkomen announced that the destruction of the Expressway could cost Kenyans in excess of Sh. 700 million to repair. Unconfirmed reports also indicate that about 10 people died in the Wednesday demos around the country with Azimio blaming police for shooting at innocent, unarmed demonstrators.

By Mabel Keya-Shikuku

 

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