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MP calls for end of deadly protests and resumption of bipartisan talks

Nyeri Town Member of Parliament Mr. Duncan Maina Mathenge has appealed for a cessation of the ongoing anti-government demonstrations and called for the resumption of the stalled bi-partisan talks to save the country from tipping over the precipice.

The lawmaker also welcomed calls by religious leaders for President Dr William Ruto and his erstwhile ally turned political rival Raila Odinga to hold roundtable talks to address the current crisis affecting the country including the high cost of living.

Yesterday, protesters took to the streets in various parts of the country at the start of three-day demos in support of Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition calls to pressurize the government to address the current runway cost of living and a repeal of the 2023 Finance Act.

But Mathenge said the route of anarchy and violent protests will never solve the challenges dogging the country and therefore there was need for the leading protagonists (Ruto and Raila) to hold dialogue in ironing out any differences.

“The solution to addressing the challenges facing our country is to first stop the ongoing deadly demonstrations and allow sober talks between the Government and the opposition to take place,” Mathenge said.

“Raila should be allowed to table his grievances and allow his issues to be discussed in an amicable manner. If this country sinks, it is the ordinary Kenyan who is going to bear the brunt of it all as leaders will have flown out of the country to seek safe havens in foreign nations since they have the money to do so,” he said during todays’ Kameme’s TV Rikiratha show.

During yesterday’s protests, Police engaged in daylong confrontations with irate demonstrators in street battles that literally brought businesses in a number of towns to a standstill culminating in the deaths of at least six people.

Learning in Kisumu, Mombasa and Nairobi was also disrupted after the Government temporarily closed schools in these counties to safeguard the safety of the pupils.

Mathenge, however, appealed to the electorate and opposition leaders to allow the President articulate his government’s manifesto noting that the Kenya Kwanza administration has been in office less than a year.

He argued that nine months is a short time for any administration to sort out all the challenges affecting the nation and therefore those blaming the government for paying lip service to the suffering of the people are passing an unfair assessment.

“It is true the current government made several promises in the run-up to the last general elections which it needs to fulfill to the people. But it is equally true that no single government can fulfill all its pledges at a go since money and resources are required,” said Mathenge.

“But we are alive to the fact that the government did introduce subsidized fertilizers to enable farmers to boost production and I can comfortably assure you that we shall have enough food within the next two months once farmers harvest their maize. This country is ours and we should not destroy it in pursuit of partisan interests,” he stated.

Yesterday, while addressing residents of Kericho after commissioning the Kimugu water project, the President announced his readiness to engage the opposition on issues pertaining to the country but not on matters of sharing government positions.

He also directed security officers to deal firmly with hooligans and criminals whom he accused of taking advantage of the ongoing protests to loot and destroy people’s property in the name of peaceful demonstrations.

“We told our opponents to engage us in talks on the issues they raised, but they chose to use demonstrations. They should use constitutional and legal avenues to address their grievances, if any,” he said.

 By Samuel Maina

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