Exclusive: Why Uhuru’s former ‘bouncer’ Arocho is against Ruto-Raila handshake
Former president Uhuru Kenyatta’s former ‘favorite bouncer’, Bill Arocho, who defected to President William Ruto’s UDA party last week, is against any form a political deal between the Head of State and opposition leader Raila Odinga.
In an exclusive interview with Nairobi News following his defection, Mr Arocho said while the two leaders can sit down and talk, a Ruto-Raila handshake, if it happens, will come at a huge cost for the country.
“Personally, I wouldn’t advise for a handshake between Ruto and Raila. It is even more expensive for us as citizens. The government would need more of tax payers’ money to bloat the government to accommodate the opposition in the Cabinet and parastatals. I wouldn’t support that,” Arocho explained.
“However, UDA and Azimio can sit down and talk without any outside interference. Ruto and Raila can also sit down and talk. These are leaders who understand each other because they are cut from the same cloth. Remember they formed the opposition Orange Democratic Movement Party together in the past,” he said.
Mr Arocho’s remark came just days before the President quietly met the opposition leader in Mombasa on Friday evening in the presence of retired Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo.
The meeting kicked off a series of events that culminated in the announcement of talks involving five representatives from each side of the political divide.
The Sunday Nation reported that the Friday night deliberations took place at a coastal hotel, with both parties having agreed not to tag along any of their lieutenants for fear of scuttling the talks at the initial stage.
Focus has now shifted to the agenda and the composition of representatives of the Kenya Kwanza government and Azimio la Umoja teams in the bipartisan talks.
Mr Odinga’s political detractors have been claiming for months that his sole agenda is to be accommodated in government through the backdoor. They claim that this is because Mr Odinga has a history of conceding election defeats.
However, Mr Odinga has openly countered these claims by stating that he is not interested in any handshake with President Ruto since the Head of State cannot be trusted.
Mr Arocho made the announcement of his defection on Tuesday last week during a press conference that was attended by UDA Secretary General Cleophas Malala.