Companies Raila wants Azimio supporters to boycott
By Joshua Cheloti
Opposition leader Raila Odinga has asked his supporters across the country to boycott some of the products and services from a number of prominent companies.
Addressing a media briefing in Nairobi, Odinga claimed the companies he wants supporters to boycott had become ‘enablers and facilitators’ of the Kenya Kwanza government which he described as a brutal regime.
The companies he wants Kenyans to boycott are telecommunications giant Safaricom, a leading bank in the country Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) and the Star Newspaper.
“We call for the boycott of Safaricom, Kenya Commercial Bank and Radio Africa media, particularly The Star newspaper, who have become enablers and facilitators of this brutal regime,” the former Prime Minister told supporters.
He however did not expound more on why the three had been singled out as ‘enablers and facilitators’ of the government.
Calls for the boycott of services and products of the three companies were also made at the same time the ODM leader announced that protests will be held twice a week starting next week.
The first protest was held on March 20, 2023.
However, calls for Kenyans to boycott Star Newspaper, a product of the Radio Africa Group have been condemned by stakeholders in the media industry.
The Media Council of Kenya (MCK) and the Kenya Union of Journalists (KUJ) in separate statements faulted the opposition for asking Kenyans to boycott the newspaper.
MCK Chief Executive Officer (CEO) David Omwoyo described the move as an effort to manipulate public opinion.
“The Council takes such statements against a media house as part of efforts to manipulate public opinion and limit freedom of the press, which are both fundamental components of a healthy democracy,” Omwoyo said in part of the statement.
“Such attacks undermine the freedom of the press and are attempts to undermine the role of the press in freely informing the electorates based on the editorial judgements,” he added.
KUJ shared similar sentiments.
“The boycott call and derogatory remarks, do not only puncture independence of the media, but put at risk the lives of journalists working with the Star newspapers who will soon become victims of assault by overzealous Azimio supporters all over the country,” noted the union of journalists.