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Sacco vows to keep off Nairobi city due on-going demos

Nyena Sacco has vowed to keep off Nairobi this Thursday owing to the on-going protests organized by the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya alliance.

The Sacco’s chairperson Mr Charles Ndirangu has also disclosed that the sector is currently recording huge losses due to the protests since last week after it decided to reroute its vehicles to other less profitable destinations.

Ndirangu said yesterday that the Sacco ran into losses running into millions of shillings after its more than 200 vehicles were grounded due to deadly skirmishes witnessed in the city between opposition protesters and anti-riot police.

“None of our Public Service Vehicles ferried passengers to the city yesterday to avoid driving right into the skirmishes between police and protesters. But be as it may no one would risk his vehicle into such chaotic scenes as was witnessed in Nairobi and other parts of the country in the name of doing business,” he said.

Yesterday, the country witnessed perhaps one of her worst days of the opposition protests with reports of deaths in Kisumu and destruction of property in Homa Bay, Migori and Nairobi’s informal sectors of Kibra and Mathare North.

In the midst of the charged demonstrations, unknown goons later invaded Northlands farm which belongs to Uhuru Kenyatta’s family located near Kenyatta University and cut down a number of eucalyptus trees before setting the rest on fire.

The marauding gang also carted away tens of sheep stolen from the private farm and sold them for a song to willing motorists in a brazen attack that shocked the nation.

Similarly, Spectre East Africa, a gas filling company associated with ODM leader Raila Odinga was on target after it was attacked by stone throwing goons who later fled after they were repulsed by security guards from a private firm.

But Ndirangu has warned the on-going grandstanding between the opposition and the State will only lead to more suffering for the ordinary Kenyans who have nothing to gain from the ugly protests.

He argued that in the event the two protagonists fail to agree to end the hostilities, the common mwananchi will have nothing else to do but watch as country slides into anarchy.

He, however urged both President Dr William Ruto and Raila Odinga to come to an amicable discussion on the challenges facing the country such as tackling the high cost of living but warned that such discussion should not involve hardliners from both camps.

“There are other ways of solving problems. If they (Ruto and Raila) want to talk they can talk. There are many losses that are coming collectively or individually but who is going to benefit when they destroy this country and we don’t have any other country?” he posed.

“Some of us have nowhere to go. So, we are going to die here,” he stressed.

Last week a cleric in Nyeri scoffed at those calling for dialogue between President Dr Ruto and Raila dismissing such efforts as a waste of time.

Bishop Erastus Njoroge who is the overseer of Four-Square Gospel Churches of Kenya argues that the only way out of the current grandstanding between Dr Ruto and the opposition is for each side to follow the due process of the law as outlined in the constitution.

Njoroge warned that any deliberation done outside the confines of the law would set a bad precedent for the country and should therefore be discouraged.

He also condemned Monday’s demos by the opposition that rocked various parts of the country leading to injuries and destruction of property and warned that such activities may end up plunging the country into anarchy.

“What we witnessed on Monday (last week) by protestors was a blatant violation of existing laws and which should never be cordoned by any peace-loving citizen. Raila Odinga should accept that Dr William Ruto is the president and accord him that due recognition for this county to stand. On the other hand, calling for the two leaders to sit down and dialogue will not be the best thing for this county going by what we witnessed in the past. This is an agitation I personally cannot support at all,” he said.

Raila who made a fifth unsuccessful stab at the Presidency last year has vowed for the umpteenth time that he will not recognize the legitimacy of the current government.

He has issued a number of demands  he wants addressed by the government  including bringing down the cost of living and undertaking a compressive audit on last year’s presidential poll which he claims he won by more than two million votes.

On Monday last week protesters engaged Police in day-long running battles in Nairobi, Kisumu, Migori, Kitale and Homa Bay after the government failed to honour the demands set out by Raila.

But Bishop Njoroge accused the opposition of insincerity, claiming they have ignored to follow the legal channels in advancing their grievances before taking to the streets.

He said some of the issues being cited by the opposition such as the high cost of food in the country are due to erratic weather changes and therefore cannot be blamed on Ruto.

He similarly said the validity of the presidential election was settled last year after the Supreme Court of Kenya pronounced its ruling on the matter and therefore those revisiting the issue are misleading Kenyans.

“Engaging in unending street demonstrations and mass action will not solve the problems currently dogging Kenyans. What I can advise the President is to continue discharging his constitutional duties and not fall into the familiar trap of inviting the opposition for dialogue,” he said.

“Let Raila employ the available legal channels including in parliament in voicing out his concerns but let him not take the country down the road to anarchy through mass action,” he added.

Raila has however ruled out reaching out to Dr Ruto in order to be incorporated in government but has instead warned he will continue pushing his agenda until the government acts.

He similarly announced that the anti-government protests will now be taking place on Monday and Thursday every week.

By Samuel Maina


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