Intrigues behind Uhuru-Raila unity talks


President Uhuru Kenyatta and NASA leader Raila Odinga after a meeting at Harambee House on ...
President Uhuru Kenyatta and NASA leader Raila Odinga after a meeting at Harambee House on Friday, March 9, 2018. PHOTO| PSCU

In Summary

  • While the meeting caught many by surprise, Citizen Digital has learnt that Kenyatta's meeting with Odinga was crafted Thursday afternoon at State House.
  • The President also debriefed the Jubilee parliamentary leadership about the intended meeting on Friday morning.
  • The rivalry between Odinga and his NASA-led coalition and Kenyatta’s Jubilee party went downhill on the nullification of the August 8th 2017 presidential elections.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition chief Raila Odinga began a reconciliation process on Friday by calling for truce into their highly polarized political feuds.

In a ceasefire address to the nation, the two leaders who are arguably the most protracted political nemesis called for unity and agreed to work together, saying they would not watch the country burn.

While the meeting caught many by surprise, Citizen Digital has learnt that Kenyatta’s meeting with Odinga was crafted Thursday afternoon at State House.

Sources intimated that President Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto held a lengthy meeting to muse over the decision.

It is then a deal was reached that the president reaches out to the opposition chief himself to set up a meeting.

President Kenyatta placed a call to Odinga scheduling a meeting Friday morning at his Harambee House office.

The President also debriefed the Jubilee parliamentary leadership about the intended meeting on Friday morning.

In a joint address after a closed-door meeting, the two party leaders cut a re-conciliatory tone.

“The time has come for us to confront and resolve our differences. These differences are becoming too entrenched. People are dieing out of these differences,” said Odinga.

“We have come to a common understanding that this country is greater than any one individual… And that for this country to come together, leaders must come together,” said Kenyatta.

The rivalry between Odinga and his NASA-led coalition and Kenyatta’s Jubilee party went downhill on the nullification of the August 8th 2017 presidential elections, with Odinga refusing to participate in the repeat polls citing contentious electoral issues.

Kenyatta would go ahead to win the polls and was sworn in on November 28th for his second term.

A dissatisfied Odinga ended up taking a mock oath of the ‘people’s president’  on January 30th, 2018, with opposition chief claiming he would not recognize Kenyatta’s presidency.

Fighting back, President Kenyatta  instituted a crackdown on Odinga’s lieutenants, the rivalry between the two leaders putting their supporters on a coalition path at times proving catastrophic.

But the leaders say they are ready to walk the talk in chatting the country into a new chapter and devoid of ethnic undertones for the sake of future generations

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