‘Stop The Vitriol Because It Won’t Work,’ Raila Tells Kenya Kwanza Ahead Of Bipartisan Talks

Written by on 9 August 2023

Azimio La Umoja One Kenya leader Raila Odinga has told Kenya Kwanza leaders to stop what he described as vitriol ahead of the bipartisan talks between leaders from the ruling alliance and the opposition. 

Addressing journalists in Nairobi on Tuesday ahead of the talks which are set to kick off on Wednesday, Odinga said they are expecting transparent talks guarded by decorum, honesty and respect for the people of Kenya.

“As a party, we believe this country deserves peace, not paralysis and that is why we have downed our protests to give dialogue and peace a chance. We want to appeal to Kenya Kwanza that vitriol must now end because it will not work,” the opposition leader said.

“Engaging in honest dialogue does not amount to surrender or cowardice. We remain committed to negotiating in good faith on the plan to achieve a comprehensive settlement of the country’s problems through dialogue.”

Azimio and President William Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza Alliance have formed a dialogue committee of 10 members. 

Azimio, among other things, wants a reduction in the cost of living, an audit of the 2022 General Election servers, bipartisan reconstitution of the IEBC, as well as its inclusion in national affairs and what he describes as respect for political parties.

Odinga insisted he is not pushing for a truce with Ruto similar to the March 2018 ‘Handshake’ with Kenyatta through the bipartisan talks.

He maintained that the talks are for the welfare of Kenyans, terming President Ruto’s government ‘too filthy’ to get into a truce or a coalition government agreement.

“We do not want to shake anybody’s hands; those people’s hands are tainted with the blood of innocent Kenyans,” Odinga said, seemingly referring to the lives lost during the recent anti-government protests.

Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka will lead the Azimio dialogue team, joined by his DAP-Kenya counterpart Eugene Wamalwa, Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi, Nyamira Senator Okongo Omogeni and Malindi MP Amina Mnyazi.

The Kenya Kwanza team will be led by National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wa and comprises his Senate counterpart Aaron Cheruiyot, Embu Governor Cecily Mbarire, EALA MP Hassan Omar and Bungoma Woman Rep Catherine Wambilianga.

The former prime minister has threatened the return of street demonstrations if the planned bipartisan talks are not fruitful. The recent round of demos left over 20 people dead.

Previous talks in April and May broke down as both sides accused each other of sabotage.

Reader's opinions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Current track