Raila and Opposition Leaders Skip Madaraka Day celebrations


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Raila and Opposition Leaders Skip Madaraka Day celebrations
Raila and Opposition Leaders Skip Madaraka Day celebrations

Key opposition leaders including Azimio boss Raila Odinga have skipped this year’s Madaraka Day national celebrations at Moi Stadium Embu.

During Ruto’s first national day fete on October 20, 2022 to mark Mashujaa Day, Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka was the only opposition leader who attended the celebrations held at Uhuru Gardens, Nairobi.

Days to the celebrations, Raila had left the country on October 16, 2022, and headed to India.

This is however not the first time the opposition leaders have skipped such a key event.

Raila also skipped the Jamhuri Day fete on December 12, 2022, after jetting out of the country to the United States.

President William Ruto will lead the nation in marking the 60th Madarka Day.

This is Ruto’s third time that he will be leading the country in marking National Day celebrations since he took office as President on September 13, 2022.




Mama Ngina Kenyatta Misses Madaraka Day for First Time in Decades

Raila and Opposition Leaders Skip Madaraka Day celebrations

Kenya’s former first lady, Mama Ngina Kenyatta, was among the noticeable absentees at the Madaraka Day celebrations held at Embu’s Moi Stadium, on Thursday, June 1.

Mama Ngina graced national holidays during his son, Uhuru Kenyatta’s tenure. Uhuru and his mother, prior to Ruto’s presidency, skipped the 2005 Madaraka Day celebrations led by the late President, Mwai Kibaki.

Uhuru was then the opposition leader under the Kenya African National Union (KANU) party. With the former president and his successor, William Ruto, embroiled in a supremacy row, analysts argued that it was wise for Mama Ngina to skip this year’s and Ruto’s first Madaraka Day.

“The relationship between the Kenyatta family and Ruto worsened. There has been an open war between the current administrations and the Kenyatta family,” political analyst Martin Andati told Kenyans.co.ke.

Events preceding the national celebration also set the stage for Mama Ngina to deviate from her tradition. In February 2023, the former first lady publicly dared the government to go after her wealth after she was accused of failing to pay taxes.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, since his inauguration, launched a series of onslaughts against the Kenyatta Family, accusing it of hoarding large tracks of land.

“There is no need to malign someone, to seem like you are doing something. The government has policies in place. If I’m found to have breached the law…even for a year, I will pay the taxes,” Mama Ngina confronted the government on February 4. Uhuru’s mother addressed a congregation at St. Teresa’s Catholic Church in Mpeketoni, Lamu County.

“It is a fact that every employed Kenyan should pay income tax, irrespective of their job group,” she added.

Analyst Martin Andati added that Rigathi’s remarks, coupled with rhetorics by his confidant, Kikuyu MP, Kimani Ichungw’ah, irked the Kenyatta family.

“Rigathi has been smearing dirt at the family. What business would they with the national celebrations,” he explained.

The row between Ruto and the Kenyattas widened after a group of youth raided the Northlands Farm owned by the Kenyatta family on March 27.

On May 22, Uhuru addressed the invasion, for the first time, noting that actions by rogue elements would not cower him into silence. Kenyattas lost sheep worth millions and trees of undisclosed value, which the invaders cut down.

“I thought I should retire from politics but others decided to threaten me. I’m telling them today to look for another person, not Uhuru Kenyatta. If you behave like thugs, we will treat you as such.”

“They used to insult me while I stayed silent. They’ve stolen goats and burnt farms, thinking they will intimidate me, but the people who gave me this party told me to protect it. I will do so until they select another party leader,” he warned while speaking at Jubilee’s National Delegates Conference (NDC) at Ngong Racecourse.

Ruto and Uhuru have also been battling for control of Jubilee Party, with the former linked to a faction led by East Africa Legislative Assembly (EALA) MP, Kanini Kega, and the latter, one led by secretary general, Jeremiah Kioni.

Meanwhile, the June 1 Madaraka Day event was the first national holiday presided by General Francis Ogolla since his appointment as the Chief of Defence Forces.




Raila and Opposition Leaders Skip Madaraka Day celebrations

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