Nairobi News


From face me, to support me: Ruto asks Raila to end protests

President William Ruto now appears to be softening his hardline stance on not engaging Azimio la Umoja – One Kenya Coalition leader Raila Odinga in talks.

This after the head of state on Saturday asked the Mr Odinga to support him, just a day after he challenged the Azimio leader to a personal duel ahead of the second round of protests planned for Monday and Thursday next week.

Speaking on Friday in Kisii County the president vowed to deal with Mr Odinga decisively should be not consider his calls for mass action.

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“What is his issue with our traders? Let him come face me directly. I am the one who defeated him, not our traders. I defeated you very early, but you now don’t want to face me. You are only bothering ordinary citizens,” President Ruto said.

However, in a show of total defiance, Mr Odinga, speaking just about 30 kilometres from where the President was in Gusiiland, called on Kenyans to come out in large numbers to exercise their democratic right to picket as enshrined in the Constitution.

Now, in an apparent softening of his stance, President Ruto, on Saturday while touring of Migori County, called on Mr Odinga to halt the ongoing demos and support his government.

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“Why are you bothering me with demonstrations yet I fully supported you when it mattered most to a point that I was taken to The Hague? Why can’t you support me?” President Ruto said.

The head of state also said there is need for political leaders to put aside their political differences for the development of the country.

“Let us put aside our political differences and work together to ensure Kenyans get value for their taxes. Let us forget party politics and serve our people,” he said.

Mr Odinga on Tuesday announced that his coalition would hold mass protests biweekly – every Monday and Thursday.

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