‘There must be a mediator between us for talks to happen’ – Raila to Ruto

Written by on 27 July 2023

Azimio la Umoja – one Kenya coalition leader Raila Odinga has said he will not hold a dialogue with President William Ruto unless there is a third party to mediate between them.

Speaking to AFP on Wednesday, July 26, 2023, Raila stressed that Ruto was ‘untrustworthy’ and claimed that he (Ruto) was not a man of his word.

While stressing the need for a mediator, Raila affirmed that he was prepared to hold talks if his conditions are met.

“He is not somebody you can trust, he keeps changing words that is why I insist they must be a mediator between us. I am ready to talk if there is a mediator between us,” he said.

Raila was speaking to AFP after meeting injured protesters at two different hospitals. At the time, he was flanked by other leaders allied to the Azimio coalition.

Earlier, President Ruto had confirmed that he was ready for talks with the opposition leader.

In a statement shared by his official X account formerly Twitter, Ruto said he was available at Raila’s convenience.

“As you have always known, am available to meet one on one with you anytime at your convenience,” Ruto said.

The push for calls between the two leaders comes amidst anti-government protests which have been ongoing.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga had called for the protests to mount pressure on the government and subsequently compel it to lower the cost of living and repel the Finance Act 2023.

Last week, the opposition held demos on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. However, this week, the opposition called off the demonstrations and opted for a candle lighting session for those killed during anti-government protests.

“Azimio has made the decision that on Wednesday, 26th July 2023, we will hold a different kind of protest. The peaceful protests will take the form of solidarity parades and vigil for victims of police brutality in various locations in all parts of the country. We are calling Kenyans to come out on and light candles and lay flowers, preferably white, in remembrance of and respect for the victims,” the coalition stated at the time.

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