Raila warns of consequences if handshake pact is not implemented


Opposition leader Raila Odinga. PHOTO| RAILA ODINGA/FACEBOOK
Opposition leader Raila Odinga. PHOTO| RAILA ODINGA/FACEBOOK

In Summary

  • Opposition leader Raila Odinga has warned of consequences if the changes envisaged in the unity pact between himself and President Uhuru Kenyatta are not implemented before the 2022 election.
  • Mr. Odinga says the 2022 elections might be messy and chaotic if the reforms set out in the agreement signified by the handshake are not effected.
  • While the details of the Kenyatta-Odinga MOU are yet to be disclosed to the public, the former premier alludes to a referendum being among the ways of implementing the changes in the unity pact.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga has warned of consequences if the changes envisaged in the unity pact between himself and President Uhuru Kenyatta are not implemented before the 2022 election.

Mr. Odinga says the 2022 elections might be messy and chaotic if the reforms set out in the agreement signified by the handshake are not effected.

“Without the changes we envisage in the MoU, 2022 will be messy. It will come with the same confusion, heartbreaks and possibly chaos. We are trying to forestall such eventualities,” said Odinga.

While the details of the Kenyatta-Odinga MOU are yet to be disclosed to the public, the former premier alludes to a referendum being among the ways of implementing the changes outlined in the unity pact.

“Addressing some of these issues may require changes to some of our laws and even amendments to the constitution. When that time comes, we must be bold enough to pick up the challenge as a matter of duty to the nation,” says the opposition leader.

Odinga made the remarks on Tuesday during an ODM Party National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Gilgil.

He called on his party members to support the handshake and refuse to be distracted by “political shylocks” who are opposing the reforms initiative.

According to the ODM Party leader, the country is at a crossroads and politicians should see beyond 2022 for the country to realise lasting unity and meaningful reconciliation.

“That handshake was not about 2022. It was too significant an event to be reduced to a struggle for positions, promises and ambitions of individuals,” he said.

“Kenya is at a crossroads. Elections are mini civil wars. Businesses close at election time. Citizens relocate to perceived safe areas at election time. Many of our citizens feel disenfranchised and excluded. Corruption is killing this nation. Citizens view each other with suspicion, mistrust and anger. A little misstep and we tip over the precipice,” said Odinga.

The opposition chief said the team tasked with coming up with a road map for implementation of the Building Bridges Initiative will soon unveil a series of public events across the country to outline the terms of the MOU to Kenyans.

The opposition leader’s sentiments come at a time when drumbeats for the 2022 election are gaining tempo and vigour with a section of the political class also proposing a change in the structure of the country’s leadership.

A section of the political divide is however opposed to Constitutional changes that would see the country go for a referendum.

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