After months of speculation, the Foreign Affairs Ministry pleaded with foreign embassies on Tuesday, March 22, to aid in sanctioning leaders who may commit crimes under the guise of holding protests.
In a statement to the Diplomatic Missions and United Nation Agencies based in Nairobi, the Ministry accused Azimio La Umoja's party leader, Raila Odinga, of committing atrocities through demonstrations and mobilising his supporters to circumvent the law.
Foreign Affairs under Cabinet Secretary, Alfred Mutua, pleaded with the international community to be vigilant and support government measures in containing the unrest.
“In line with the importance of holding those responsible for any crimes that may be committed under the guise of protests and ensuring no impunity is encouraged.
“The Government urges the international community to be vigilant in supporting the sanctioning of nay conduct adverse to the peace and security of the country,” the statement read in part, addressed to all Diplomatic Missions, United Nations Agencies and International Organizations based in Kenya.
The Ministry further defended police officers accused of using extra force to contain protestors. Mutua's ministry explained that security officers had to prevent demonstrators from accessing the Central Business District (CBD) and State House.
“This was done due to the egregious and highly provocative nature of the demonstration, but also on the account of the failure by the organizers to furnish a notification containing specific details about the protest to the police,” the Ministry detailed.
In what was termed an undiplomatic tone by the opposition, the letter to foreign embassies and organizations described Raila as fond of demonstrations.
“The protests and destruction of property are a continuation of Raila Odinga’s well-known modus operandi deployed since 1997 to force extra-constitutional political settlements for his own self-aggrandizement.”
Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Secretary General, Edwin Sifuna, however, dismissed the letter, terming it informal.
“Is this letter from a government ministry or a local branch of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA)?
“Instead of reporting the opposition to foreign powers, the government should concentrate in lowering the cost of living,” Sifuna remarked.
In February 2023, Nandi senator, Samson Cherargei, also demanded Raila's perks and privileges expunged, accusing him of undermining the Kenya Kwanza regime.
"Next will be the removal of privileges of the office of the former Prime Minister eg cars, security, office," he threatened.
After the Monday, March 20, opposition-led protests, Kenya Kwanza Members of Parliament (MPs) called for the arrest of Raila and his handshake brother, President (Rtd) Uhuru Kenyatta. Kikuyu MP, Kimani Ichung'wah accused the duo of causing mayhem and 'urban banditry'.
"We ask the IG of Police not just to arrest the small boys who are paid to riot. If the buck stops at the door of Odinga, go for Odinga. If the buck stops at his sponsor's door, go for them," Kimani Ichung'wah's statement read.
In response, Raila declared protests on every Thursday and Monday until the government agrees to opposition demands. Among them was the opening of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) servers to determine the election winner, the reconstitution of the Commission and the lowering of the cost of living.