Did Ruto strike deal to end Azimio demos because of King Charles visit?
Former Ndaragwa lawmaker Jeremiah Kioni now claims President William Ruto worked hard to stop the anti-government demonstrations to enable a peaceful environment during the Africa Climate Summit and visit of King Charles in Nairobi.
A former ally of former president Uhuru Kenyatta, Kioni, who also doubles up as embattled secretary general of the Jubilee party, suggests President Ruto had a cheeky agenda when he sent representatives to the National Dialogue Committee.
“We had a team of African leaders coming to the country, they needed us to have a calm country to give them the perception that all is well in Kenya. We had the Africa Climate Summit, and then we had the King (visiting the country),” said Mr Kioni.
The Africa Climate Summit meeting took place in Nairobi in September, two months before King Charles and Queen Camilla visited Nairobi for a four-day trip.
More than 15 Heads of State were present at the Climate Summit.
To stress his point, Kioni, who is a member of the National Dialogue Committee, claims the government side in the talks between opposition and government, led by National Assembly Speaker Kimani Ichungwah and his Senate counterpart Aaron Cheruiyot, would drag their feet at times during the talks.
“Immediately (the) visitors leave the country, they disappear from the house, they don’t show up for meetings the way they were coming before, the technical team would come without any briefings or any engagement from the other team.”
The talks have appeared to drag on since, with the government and opposition side unable to agree on matters such as the cost of living.
Kioni has further suggested that Azimio leader Raila Odinga, who led the anti-government protests, was under pressure from the West to stop the demos.
The protests left scores dead, hundreds arrested, and property worth millions of shillings destroyed.
The politician has also questioned the role of the US and UK in ending the talks.
“A lot of pressure was exerted on Raila Odinga. This dialogue process was forced on us and especially on our leader Raila Odinga by the international community.”
“The Americans forgot what they have always stood for, which is democracy before investment, issues of human rights before investment…the main reason is because (former presidents) Uhuru, and Kibaki had turned to the East and they completely forget a must-servant attitude that you get from the West.”
The opposition, according to Kioni, had stated that reducing the cost of living became a matter of emergency when they started their dialogue and that the government was supposed to come up with interim measures to reduce the burden from Kenyans, which did not happen.
“There were interim measures that needed to have been put in place, and this was agreed upon between the President and Mr Odinga.”
Mr Kioni also suggested that President Ruto is not serious about lowering the cost of living.