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How Ruto-Raila ‘handshake’ happened unexpectedly

President William Ruto and Azimio la Umoja – One Kenya Coalition leader Raila Odinga on Saturday put aside their political differences and shook hands for the first time since last year’s General Election.

The two leaders who have a long-running political differences shared the same podium at the funeral of Field Marshal Mukami Kimathi, who was the wife of the late freedom fighter Dedan Kimathi.

Mr Odinga, who arrived at the funeral around 11:40am, was warmly welcomed by Kenya Kwanza top leadership before he happily shook hands with President Ruto, who had arrived earlier.

Also read: Ruto meets Raila at Mukami Kimathi’s burial

A beaming President Ruto even parted the back of Mr Odinga who was also all smiles during that brief moment.

Mr Odinga also shook hands with Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua but appeared to snub Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi.

Mr Odinga arrived at the venue when Mama Mukami’s daughters and granddaughters were reading her eulogy. Mr Odinga, who was dressed in black, was accompanied by Jubilee Party Secretary General Jeremiah Kioni.

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Since last year’s elections, President Ruto and Mr Odinga have heightened their hostilities over the outcome of the polls among other political differences.

The two leaders have also lately differed over the high cost of living in the country, the appointment of new IEBC commissioners, state appointments, the Shakahola deaths saga and the Finance Bill 2023.

Mukami Kimathi died on May 4, 2023 at the age of 96 while receiving treatment at a hospital in Nairobi.

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