‘I am not dying to visit Western nations’- Raila responds to Ruto allies’ threats for sanctions

Written by on 27 February 2023

Azimio la Umoja – One Kenya coalition leader Raila Odinga now says he is not afraid of being banned from visiting any country amid calls from a section of Kenya Kwanza leaders for the Western nations to impose sanctions on him for “destabilising” the country.

Speaking during the opposition’s rallies in the Western region on Sunday, February 26, Raila said he has no problem with the West imposing sanctions on him as long as they agree that “Kenya’s problems must be fixed by Kenyans themselves”.

He said calls by Kenya Kwanza to the West and allied countries to ban him from stepping foot in their countries are “mere hot air and acts of cowardice”.

“Article 34 of the constitution gives Kenyans the freedom to express themselves and to picket and we shall fight for our rights whether they like it or not”, Raila said in Kitale town, Trans Nzoia county, further insisting that President William Ruto’s administration is illegitimate.

The ODM party leader told Western countries to disregard the calls, and instead, seek to establish if the Kenya Kwanza government is legitimately in power.

“Why are they afraid of having the IEBC servers opened? They know what is in those servers and the truth is we won the election free and square” he told the highly charged crowd.

Raila said his main objective is to have electoral injustices ended and ensure the will of the people is respected.

“We respect our friendly countries. We have had and continue having a cordial relationship with our friends, but they should also know that our internal affairs must be dealt with by ourselves,” he added.

Raila, who insists that he defeated President Ruto in the last election, said he will not back down until his victory is given back to him.

The rally was attended by several Azimio leaders including Martha Karua (Narc Kenya), former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper), Jeremiah Kioni (Jubilee) and Eugine Wamalwa (Democratic Action Party).

Calls for sanctions

Lawmakers and politicians allied to the Kenya Kwanza administration told a local daily that Raila’s recent rallies and threats for mass action over the high cost of living are undermining a legitimate government and called on the United States, the United Kingdom and western countries to take against the former Prime Minister.

“You cannot earn the respect of the international community when you are busy trying to cause civil strife in your country. (President Robert) Mugabe of Zimbabwe was a respected democrat but when he started undermining the same democratic tenets, the international community placed tough sanctions against him. Raila has earned a name for himself for being a democrat. But if he starts behaving like a rebel, we will ask the international community to punish him,” National Assembly Deputy Majority Leader Owen Baya was quoted as saying by Sunday Nation.

Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei said the former premier should be denied the privileges he enjoys both locally and internationally by virtue of his former office, among them access to VIP lounges at airports.

“Tinga (Raila) should lose all the privileges accorded to him locally and internationally by virtue of his former PM office. The international community normally bans individuals who sponsor civil strife against legitimate governments,” Cherargei said.

Raila claims that he was rigged out in the last presidential election in a scheme involving Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza Alliance and Wafula Chebukati, the former chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

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