Luo Youth in Kenya call on Raila Odinga to rethink boycott as businesses struggle in his stronghold

The youth say the strategy was rather affecting the business of the stronghold.

It looks like Kenya’s main opposition party’s bid to cause enforce economic pressure on Uhuru Kenyatta might have hit a stumbling block after it was called out by youth of its own group.

Opposition leader, Raila Odinga announced a boycott of telecoms giant Safaricom, industrial  group BIDCO and dairy company Brookside, owned by the Kenyatta family at a press conference last week, accusing them of helping the Jubilee Party rig the country’s hotly contested election.

The boycott has been spearheaded by leading members of NASA, with several MP’s ,governors and senators apparently switching telecom providers.

Though the overall effect of the call to defiance cannot be measured, it had been enjoyed a measure of success in the Nyanza regions of the country where Raila has his strongest base.

That base might be shaky after a section of youth from the Luo National Youth Caucus urged the party to consider a rethink of the strategy after complaining of business losses to members.

Speaking to journalists on Wednesday, Roy K’Obwanga, the leader of the group said the strategy was rather affecting the business of the stronghold.

The National Youth Council, in partnership with Uwezo Fund and the Youth Fund, mobilised resources in connection with Safaricom and gave many young people M-Pesa outlets all over the country. It is so sad when leaders call for banning of these shops when the same youths are servicing loans acquired to set up the shops, without giving alternatives to the same.

It is the first open call for a change in strategy since the boycott was announced.

NASA has said it wants an interim coalition government installed to prepare the country for another election in three months. Its leader Raila Odinga is currently in the United States meeting The country’s Congress and House of Representatives.


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