Raila revisited the struggles Kenyans endured as they fought for the second liberation but noted that the country is yet to overcome the challenges

National Super Alliance (Nasa) presidential candidate Raila Odinga boycotted Saba Saba prayers at Uhuru Park and instead held a parallel rally at the historic Kamukunji grounds.

The Uhuru Park prayers were attended by, among others, President Uhuru Kenyatta. Before proceeding to Kamukunji grounds, Raila and his Nasa co-principals held prayers at the Okoa Kenya Centre.

In a statement, Raila revisited the struggles Kenyans endured as they fought for the second liberation but noted that the country is yet to overcome the challenges the citizenry faced then, adding the August 8 General Election provides a unique opportunity for Kenyans to emancipate themselves.

Here is the full statement he issued to media houses:

“One morning 27 years ago, many men and women who believed in the idea that Kenyans must be free from fear, planned and staged a dramatic and daring protest that became known as Saba Saba.

Many of us ended up in cells and detention camps but the courage and sacrifice ultimately won. Kenya became a multi-party state once again. Freedom of speech and assembly was back.

Today, we gather in prayer, to honor the courage of ordinary Kenyans willing to risk life and limb to free their fellow citizens, but also to re-dedicate ourselves to that higher principle that Kenya must remain a democracy and government must be a tool to safeguard us and lift us from hunger, d*****e and poverty.

On July 7, 1990, Kenya’s population was not quite 20 million.

For those who were too young or unborn, Saba Saba is one of those proud moments where my generation stood up for our rights and said no to dictatorship and oppression.

That was 23 million Kenyans ago, as we are now around 45 million.

But within the last few years, the same oppressive tendencies have been reborn. What was a Kenya for all has become a Kenya for the few.

Opportunities are for the few, the rich, the connected. Ordinary Kenyans have been left to struggle on their own.

We are unable to feed our children. 12 million Kenyans are unemployed. Millions of our young people are losing hope and sinking to despair. Over 70% of Kenyans believe the country is headed in the wrong direction.

Today we launch the White Hat Clarion what will signal the start of a new people-led peaceful revolution to reclaim Kenya’s lost glory.

Related: Raila reveals how Uhuru plans to rig elections

I invite you to Kamukunji Grounds. Please wear white caps and carry white handkerchiefs as we mark Saba Saba.

This is the start of the liberation journey towards the day of change – Nane Nane. Every generation has its date with history.

We owe it to ourselves to make Kenya a country of hope, a land of opportunity for all Kenyans, and a true home to all its children.

Pamoja, Tuibadilishe Kenya.”

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