The Azimio National Executive Council, led by chairman Wycliffe Oparanya, has declared the resumption of nationwide mass protests against the government on Tuesday, May 2. The Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition, helmed by Raila Odinga, criticized President William Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza party for a lack of commitment to bipartisan negotiations, stating that the demonstrations will proceed concurrently with ongoing talks.
The protests will resume after the Labour Day holiday on Monday, May 1, in order to avoid disruptions to workers’ celebrations. The announcement comes as bipartisan discussions aimed at resolving the political crisis between the Azimio coalition and the government reach a critical juncture on Tuesday, April 25.
Last week, Odinga pledged to revive street protests following the conclusion of Ramadan in an effort to pressure the government to address opposition concerns. The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leader remains steadfast in his commitment to demonstrations as a means to address the high cost of living through the reintroduction of subsidy programs for essential goods and services, auditing last year’s presidential election servers, upholding multi-party democracy, and promoting inclusivity in civil servant appointments.
As the 14-member bipartisan team, co-chaired by MPs Otiende Amollo and George Murugara, prepares for its second meeting to address key issues, Amollo expressed optimism about reaching a framework agreement for meaningful engagement. The team’s first meeting, held last Thursday, concluded with an agreement to consult appointing authorities, President Ruto and Mr. Odinga, on the committee’s composition and the nature of discussions, whether within or outside of Parliament.
On Sunday, the Kenya National Civil Society Centre (KNCSC) endorsed Odinga’s call for a reconstitution of the electoral agency, contending that the current legal framework fails to inspire trust and confidence among stakeholders and the general public. KNCSC Executive Director Suba Churchill advocated for a complete overhaul of the process for constituting the selection panel responsible for appointing the chairperson and commission (IEBC) to ensure impartiality.
Churchill argued that the existing legal framework, which grants significant appointment power to the sitting President, renders representatives susceptible to executive influence and manipulation, leading to the formation of an election management body that lacks public trust and confidence.