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Kenya opposition lawmakers begin 'economic liberation' boycott

by Christine Lagat NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Lawmakers allied to Kenya’s main opposition National Super Alliance (NASA) on Friday urged their supporters to boycott products manufactured by companies that have close ties to the ruling Jubilee Party.
The lawmakers said at a press briefing in Nairobi that boycott of products and services from those firms seeks to re-invigorate the electoral and administrative reforms in the East African nation.

"Today we are launching the program of economic liberation through targeted boycott of companies, corporations and businesses that are beneficiaries and supporters of the current regime," the lawmakers said in a joint statement.

"We have a long and comprehensive list of companies, both local and global on our radars and which we will be naming at intervals," they added.

Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga on Oct. 31 announced the formation of a national resistant movement to exert pressure on the government.

Odinga said that economic boycott, picketing and formation of a grassroots movement will underpin his quest for justice in the electoral system as well as political inclusivity.


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NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- National Super Alliance (NASA) Leader Raila Odinga (c) displays an Airtel Sim card at an Airtel store along Koinange Street in Nairobi, Nov. 6, 2017. Raila Odinga on Monday led his supporters in migrating from Safaricom to Airtel, the country’s second largest service provider. XINHUA PHOTOS: FRED MUTUNE

The veteran opposition leader clarified that he will use constitutional and non-violent means to push for his cause.

The lawmakers said they intend to put pressure on private enterprises that are friendly to the ruling party to change their political stance and support broad reforms.

Kenya’s political stalemate in the wake of the Supreme Court nullification of presidential election results did not seem to subside after the conclusion of the repeat polls on Oct. 26, where the incumbent president Uhuru Kenyatta won with a landslide.

Odinga and his co-principals boycotted the repeat polls, citing lack of a level playing field.

Pundits expressed mixed reaction on the announcement of economic boycott by Odinga’s allies but agreed the move could worsen political polarization in the country.

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