Azimio la Umoja – One Kenya coalition leader Raila Odinga now wants the government to clear or waive all medical bills for persons who were allegedly injured by the police during the opposition’s recent demonstrations.
Speaking to the press after visiting the victims of alleged police brutality recuperating at Kenyatta and Mbagathi Hospitals in Nairobi on Tuesday, April 4, Raila also asked the government to shoulder funeral expenses for those who lost their lives in the two-week protests.
“The state must immediately take up the costs or waive all medical bills of victims of police brutality, including journalists, and the last expense cost of those who lost their lives,” Raila stated.
The suspension of the protests followed President Ruto’s proposal for a bipartisan process to address Raila’s concerns regarding the reconstitution of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
“We acknowledge Mr. Ruto’s olive branch for a dialogue on the key issues raised by Azimio La Umoja. To us, this a positive development,” Raila said on Sunday, adding that the decision to stand down on demonstrations was also influenced by calls from the clergy who implored the opposition to give dialogue a chance, especially during the holy periods of Easter and Ramadhan.
Raila said a balanced parliamentary process co-chaired by both sides and backed by experts was an appropriate way to deal with the stalemate that saw the opposition call for anti-government protests twice a week – on Mondays and Thursdays – to pressure the government to address its grievances that also included the current high cost of living.
Raila, however, warned that the weekly protests would resume in a week if there is no meaningful dialogue with Ruto.