Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga has reiterated his call for maandamano (protests) through subliminal messages inscribed on cakes baked to celebrate his 79th birthday.
The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party on Sunday shared photos of a string of cakes, two of which are in Malindi where the opposition leader will be cutting them at 3 pm.
Striking, however, are the messages slapped on the cakes aimed at pushing President William Ruto’s administration into lowering the cost of living by cutting taxes.
The base layer of the first four-layered orange cake mirrored ODM’s theme colours and bore a message demanding that the government cut the food packaging tax.
More Cakes for former Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s Birthday celebrations in Malindi.
The other three top layers contained messages such as ‘cut turnover tax’, ‘cut VAT (Value Added Tax) on fuel’ and ‘cut housing levy.’
Another white cake containing the same messages albeit in a different order featured the portrait of the ODM leader at its apex.
Embakasi West MP Mark Mwenje, on the other hand, sponsored a three-layered cake with the base showing Azimio as the coalition with Jubilee and ODM as its member parties.
“The cakes are ready for cutting at 3:00 pm… we celebrate with Raila Odinga on his 79th birthday,” shared the ODM party.
“The cutting of the cake will be symbolic… ‘cut the cost of living and make life bearable for Kenyans’.”
Hours before the planned event, the Opposition leader visited the Malindi Orphanage where he was joined by children as part of the celebrations to mark his birthday.
He was accompanied by his wife Ida Odinga and leaders from the Coastal region.
Kenyans also shared pictures of the cakes they baked in honour of the former Prime Minister’s birthday with similarly resounding messages.
In one instance, a supporter revealed on a cake that before President William Ruto’s election, the fuel prices retailed below Ksh200. Specifically, a litre of petrol was valued at Ksh129 in 2018, Ksh130 in 2019, Ksh107 in 2020, Ksh129 in 2021 and Ksh191 in 2022.
“Kenyans today celebrate Raila Odinga’s Birthday by cutting cakes that symbolize their demand for punitive taxes cut down!” shared an opposition supporter.
The messages reinforced the prevailing feeling that most Kenyans support the return of protests announced by the former Prime Minister on December 30.
At the time, the opposition leader blamed the government for increasing taxes which led to a tough economic situation across the country.
“In this government, you thought that the ‘hustlers’ would hear you. We found out that they were just words. Kenyans felt bad about the situation in 2023,” Raila lamented.
“We told them not to increase taxes but they went ahead and raised the taxes, worsening the situation. These taxes must be revoked, the Finance Act must be removed. If they don’t we will return to the streets in 2024.”
President William Ruto, however, challenged him to offer an alternative.
ODM Leader Raila Odinga (left) and Ugenya MP Opiyo Wandayi during party sensitization programme