The Government will not condone violent demonstrations and destruction of property in the country as witnessed on Wednesday during protests organized by the Opposition leaders, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has said.
While warning the Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Coalition leaders against causing anarchy, the Deputy President also said the government is hunting down persons who looted and burnt shops in Kitengela, Mlolongo and Mombasa Road during the demonstrations.
He said the criminals purporting to be protesters were members of an outlawed criminal gang and had been hired to help Opposition leader Raila Odinga cause chaos, vandalism and destroy property while disguising as persons demonstrating over the cost of living.
“The persons who burnt shops and caused destruction in Kitengela are members of a criminal group. Their leader was paid to mobilize them and cause anarchy in Kitengela, Mlolongo and Mombasa Road. The boys who were looting things belong to that criminal gang. We are going to hunt them down,” said Mr Gachagua.
Speaking in Naibor, Laikipia County, on Thursday, the Deputy President questioned what human rights the Azimio leaders were fighting for since the protests led to deaths of seven people, looting of shops and destruction of property.
“We love democracy, we respect human rights and we respect the Constitution but there is no responsible government that will allow destruction of property and violent demonstrations by people who are claiming to be fighting for their rights. What rights are they fighting for when destroying lives?,” said Mr Gachagua.
He stated that on Wednesday seven people died during the demonstrations and last week another six lost their lives.
The demonstrations also led to vandalism of various businesses and according to the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (Kepsa) the economy suffered a loss of at least Sh3 billion.
Asking Mr Odinga to stop the anarchy, the Deputy President described him as the “lord of violence and impunity in the republic of Kenya” because of his history of engineering violence after every election cycle since 1982 in the aborted coup.
“How many people does he want to die so that he can be satisfied? How much blood must Kenyans shed for you (Odinga) to be satisfied? The people of Kenya rejected you five times, you are now 80 years old, what are you fighting for while planning destruction and deaths?,” asked Mr Gachagua.
He said the former Prime Minister has hired members of an outlawed criminal gang and was paying them some fee to cause anarchy in parts of the country.
The Deputy President, in addition, accused the Opposition of attempting to sabotage President William Ruto’s administration.
He also linked the Opposition leaders to the attempted resurgence of the Mungiki sect but warned that security agencies will deal firmly with the illegal group.
He spoke after the official launch of the government’s Sh15.9 billion project to boost pastoralists’ economy.
The programme dubbed Drive (De-risking, Inclusion and Value Enhancement of Pastoral Economies) is targeting pastoral economies for 21 Arid and Semi-Arid Lands counties for resilience against disasters like drought.
Present at the event were Cabinet Secretaries Mithika Linturi (Ministry of Agriculture & Livestock Development) and Rebecca Miano (Ministry of East African Community, Arid and Semi Arid Lands and Regional Development) together with Principal Secretaries Jonathan Mueke (State Department of Livestock Development) and Teresia Mbaika (Devolution).
Also present was Laikipia governor Joshua Irungu and his colleagues Nathif Jama (Garissa county) and Simon Kachapin (West Pokot county), area MP Sarah Korere, Laikipia senator John Kinyua, Woman Representative Jane Kagiri and Buuri MP Rindikiri, Mugambi.