‘Forget nusu mkate gov’t’- Ruto reacts to Raila’s calls for Koffi Annan-like talks

Written by on 7 April 2023

President William Ruto says the opposition’s demands can only be addressed by a bipartisan team in Parliament.

Speaking in Nyandarua on Thursday, April 6, the head of state blatantly rejected opposition leader Raila Odinga’s calls for an externally mediated national dialogue to address demands fronted by the Azimio la Umoja – One Kenya coalition.

Ruto said he won’t entertain any attempts by the opposition to bargain for cooperation, coalition or handshake government witnessed in previous administrations of President Daniel Arap Moi, Mwai Kibaki and Uhuru Kenyatta.

He asked Raila to agree to the proposed engagement through parliament or prepare for the 2027 presidential polls, insisting that Kenyans will not agree to talks meant to benefit individuals.

“They (opposition) should stop bothering us. I heard them saying that they want an arrangement similar to the Koffi Annan talks that gave them nusu mkate government. We want to tell the old man (Raila) that he should forget about the handshake or any coalition arrangement. Our focus is to serve the people,” Ruto said.

“Do I look like someone who would agree to a handshake? I simply told Raila to stop the demonstrations. Take the talks to Parliament. Take the ‘open the server’ requests to Parliament. What is important is that he looks to the future, the election is now behind us,” he added.

Ruto had on Sunday proposed a parliamentary committee to handle the opposition’s demands on the reconstitution of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

However, Raila, in a statement on Tuesday, said a parliamentary process proposed by Ruto may not serve its intended purpose.

According to Raila, the Azimio leadership wants to have a conversation at the national level through a process akin to the 2008 National Accord, which was brokered by Koffi Annan following the disputed 2007 presidential election results.

Raila also asked Ruto to address other demands touching on the cost of living and audit of the electoral body’s servers as a matter of “urgency”.

The former prime minister threatened to return to the streets if the demands are not met.

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