Azimio La Umoja One Kenya coalition leader Raila Odinga has dismissed “unfounded” claims that former president and Azimio council chairman Uhuru Kenyatta is funding the opposition’s anti-government protests.
Following Monday’s demonstrations – the second in a series of bi-weekly protests lined up in the coming days – Odinga gave an interview to the BBC where he maintained that Kenyatta does not engage in Azimio’s “domestic issues”, despite still being a member of the movement.
“There have been unfounded allegations that Honourable Uhuru Kenyatta is funding the current protests. Nothing could be further from the truth,” Odinga told the network.
“Yes, Uhuru Kenyatta is a member of this movement, he is still the chairman of this movement, but he’s restrained himself and has had no time to engage in domestic issues at all, neither has he commented or talked about what is going on in the country,” he added.
The former Prime Minister condemned Monday’s raid on his East Africa Spectre Limited gas plant in Nairobi, as well as the invasion of an expansive land owned by former Kenyatta’s family.
Goons invaded the Kenyatta family land along the Nairobi Eastern Bypass in the morning, cut down trees and made away with sheep, hours after which Odinga’s gas company was attacked and several windows shattered.
According to the opposition leader, this is a well-orchestrated move by the government to “dismember” the opposition. He said Kenyatta is a target because of his membership in Azimio.
“They had planned, this cannot be an accident. They have been talking about it and have gone public saying they are going to invade Uhuru’s farm,” Odinga said.
Last week, National Assembly Majority Leader and Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung’wah publicly warned that Kenyatta’s family land could be invaded by locals if he continued what he described as financing Azimio protests.
“I want to ask our former president to respect other people’s property. If you cannot do that, we have so many questions to ask you starting with the land you occupy in Ruiru, Taita Taveta, and Nakuru. If you attack people’s property, we will also attack your land and ensure those that do not also get a share,” he said in Kirinyaga.
The MP later distanced himself from the invasion, saying on Tuesday that his comments were only a warning to Kenyatta on what his supporters were saying concerning his purported financing of the opposition’s protests.
“I addressed him because he is the Azimio financier and I cautioned him that he is losing hold of the people when he was President and last week. I am ready to account for my time with regards to the allegations,” Ichung’wah told a press conference.
Odinga himself has since accused Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua of masterminding the attacks.