Kenya holds its breath as Raila’s 14 day ultimatum to Ruto expires tonight

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a photo collage of opposition leader raila odinga and president william ruto

The country’s eyes are fixed on Raila Odinga as a 14 day ultimatum that he issued to President William Ruto to reduce the cost of living expires tonight.

Security around State House has started being scaled up with police officers mounting road blocks along the roads leading to the house on the hill.

Police officers at a road block at Dennis Pritt Road

Raila had two weeks ago threatened to lead his supporters to State House to protest over the cost of living in 14 days which will expire tonight.

Speaking on Tuesday, Raila reminded Ruto that he has until Wednesday midnight to respond to their grievances, which were issued at Jeevanjee gardens in Nairobi.

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Raila said that failure to honour the demands, Azimio will proceed with mass action on Thursday.

“We want you to wait for the time, the deadline is tomorrow (Wednesday) at midnight. So you will hear from us on Thursday,” he said.

He at the same time said that he is open to talks with President William Ruto on condition that three irreducible minimums are met.

Raila said his conditions include the opening of IEBC servers, addressing the increasing cost of living, and immediate halt of the recruitment process of the IEBC commissioners.

Retired president Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga on the steps of Harambee House during their surprise handshake in 2018

“In the last three general elections, we did not just move on. At first, we agreed on sharing responsibilities after a dialogue with then-President Mwai Kibaki. During Uhuru’s tenure, we signed an MOU and set up a task force for recommendations which birthed BBI. Regardless of the handshake, I did not get even a quarter of the loaf. This time, I will not stop the mass action.”

“I will not drop the barazas but can consider it on three conditions; First, Ruto must agree to open the server, he must stop recruitment of IEBC commissioners and third he should address the issue of the cost of living in the country.”

“Ruto is an imposter; he didn’t win the elections. He knows it is the winner of the elections should be the one who should be in the seat but he is even resisting the opening of the server. He doesn’t want the servers to be audited because he thinks we will forget and move on,” said Raila.

Raring to go. Video courtesy of NTV

Ruto has however told Azimio to protest until they get tired. Speaking during the launch of Fertiplant Nakuru last week, Ruto dismissed Raila’s demand to open the servers used in the August 9 election, saying it was not a constitutional requirement.

“I want to tell Raila Odinga, please stop bothering me about servers. Where in the constitution does it state that servers must be opened? If the constitution talks about me opening the servers, I will obey the law. The only topic I will discuss is about opening the economy,” Ruto said.

Just bring it. Video courtesy of Citizen TV

Ruto also criticised his opponent’s demands, adding that they are aimed at blackmailing his government to derail his development agenda.

He adds that he will not be intimidated by the ultimatums from the opposition.

“Let them engage in mass action until they are tired,” he said.

Ruto further accused his political opponent and former leader Uhuru Kenyatta of weakening the economy after a political handshake in 2018.

“You will not threaten anybody in this government. You left us with a huge debt,” he added.

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