President William Ruto has described opposition chief Raila Odinga as a dictator over his plan to hold countrywide rallies to martial support for Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Vice Chair Juliana Cherera.
Speaking on Monday, November 28, Ruto accused Raila of attempting to disrupt the peace in the country for personal interests and that of Cherera and four other commissioners facing ouster.
The president protested the approach that the Azimio leader resolved to take, and sounded a thinly veiled warning to Raila.
“Street demonstrations, street fights should not be part of the script in any responsible opposition unless they want to be a dictatorial opposition which I don’t think that is where they want to go,” Ruto remarked.
The head of state welcomed the criticism from the opposition but argued that it should not be at the expense of Kenyans.
“I do not think organising demonstrations and telling Kenyans to do the things they want them to do is part of holding the government to account.
“We are consolidating and reorganising our country. I want to tell our brothers in the opposition to work with us and criticise whatever they want to criticise but let us keep the country peaceful,” the President reiterated.
Ruto issued the statement during the launch of Twiga Foods at Tatu City where he was accompanied by Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria and Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja.
The response came a day after Raila announced that he would organise nationwide rallies in major cities and towns to seek the public’s input on the removal of the four IEBC commissioners.
He announced that the maiden rally would be held at the Kamukunji Grounds in Nairobi on Wednesday, November 30.
Cherera, Justus Nyang’aya, Irene Masit, and Francis Wanderi’s jobs are hanging in the balance after four petitions were tabled before parliament to remove them from office over gross misconduct.
However, Raila maintained that the four commissioners were innocent and accused Ruto of attempting to clear his path ahead of the 2027 General Election.
“This regime which came into power through rigging elections is hell-bent to send home commissioners who stood firm on the truth,” Odinga claimed.
The National Assembly’s Justice and Legal Affairs Committee (JLAC) is conducting hearings of the four embattled commissioners, with Azimio of the team having boycotted the exercise.