DP Ruto with Raila Odinga at a past event

North Rift Clergy Join Calls for Ruto-Raila Dialogue

By Naomi Cheruiyot

Calls continue to intensify for President William Ruto and opposition leader Raila Odinga to put the interests of the country first and agree to sit at the same table and dialogue.

Leaders from various sectors have been pushing for the dialogue to happen following the re-start of the anti-government protests.

Muslim leaders in the North Rift region have now joined the calls, asking the two political friends-turned-foes to dialogue.

North Rift Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya (CIPK) chairman Sheikh Abubakar Bini notes that it is only through dialogue that a solution to the current stand-off can be found.

Kenya National Fatwa Council Deputy Director Sheikh Abubakar Bini at a past event.
CIPK North Rift chairman Sheikh Abubakar Bini at a past event.

We are asking the President to call AZIMIO leader Raila Odinga for a dialogue so that they can look for solutions for the country’s economy,” Bini said.

With the opposition going ahead with their planned three-day protests, the Muslim clergy noted that only the common mwananchi will be the most affected.

He now wants Azimio to call off the demonstrations and focus on engaging in dialogue.

Right to peaceful assembly

Meanwhile, CIPK Kisumu branch member Mohammed Ali has asked the police not to use excessive force when handling protests.

Previously, the police have been accused of shooting at protestors leading to deaths and gunshot injuries to several of them.

Last week, reports indicate that at least 10 people were killed across the country during the protests.

The matter caught the attention of the international community who asked the government to ensure the security of protestors.

In addition, the UN human rights office (OHCHR) called for a probe into killings that have been witnessed during the protests, estimated to be at least 23.

Some of the protesters in Nairobi on March 20, 2023.
Some of the protesters in Nairobi on March 20, 2023. Photo/DCI.

We call for prompt, thorough, independent, and transparent investigations into the deaths and injuries,” said OHCHR Spokesperson Jeremy Laurance.

Those responsible must be held to account. Effective measures to prevent further deaths and injuries must be adopted,” he added in a statement.

The UN also rooted for dialogue to resolve the current standoff.

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