Ruto Wants Raila Banned by Western Countries over Mass Action Campaigns

Ruto Wants Raila Banned by Western Countries over Mass Action Campaigns

President William Ruto’s administration wants the West to impose sanctions, against opposition leader Raila Odinga over his calls for mass action and rejection of his election win.

Lawmakers and politicians allied to the ruling Kenya Kwanza administration want the United States, the United Kingdom and western countries to take against Mr Odinga, whom they accuse of destabilising the government.

The government wants Mr Odinga banned from travelling to friendly Western nations should he proceed with his plans for mass action intended to force President Ruto out of office.

A lawmaker allied to Dr Ruto says the plan is to use both diplomatic and constitutional means to deal with Raila.

The MP has also suggested that Mr Odinga be denied the privileges he enjoys both locally and internationally by virtue of his former office, among them access to VIP lounges at airports. He sees Mr Odinga’s pronouncement of seeking to reclaim his “stolen victory” as dangerous and says it should not be ignored by the international community.

Last Wednesday, February, 22nd, 2023, Raila announced that he will lead mass protests in 14 days if the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition’s demands for changes in the formula for choosing Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) members and lowering the cost of living are not honoured by the government.

On Saturday, February 25, 2023, at a political rally in Kakamega, he declared that the Ruto administration has 11 days left to accede to Azimio’s demands, which stem from the disputed August 9 General Election that was settled by the Supreme Court.

The latest escalation of hostility comes in a week when diplomatic sources indicated that Dr Ruto was behind the termination of the Azimio leader’s role at the African Union. It forms part of the larger scheme by the President to ‘politically contain’ the former premier.

Similar travel and economic restrictions have in the past proved to be effective in softening political hardliners who fear losing access to their overseas investments and access to advanced healthcare.

Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei says the planned mass action is meant to incite the public against a legitimate government. He holds that Mr Odinga should be denied the privileges he enjoys for undermining the authority of the current administration.