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Raila head to the UK to ‘rest and relax’

Raila Odinga has left the country for a week-long trip to the United Kingdom.

A statement by Mr Odinga’s spokesperson Dennis Onyango described the trip as a ‘private and business’ visit.

The statement adds that Mr Odinga will, during his stay, reconnect with friends, family members, and business associates.

Additionally, the statement notes he intends to take advantage of his time abroad to rest and relax, a luxury he often lacks while in his home country.

“He will also use his stay in the UK to rest and relax, which he doesn’t do enough back at home,” the statement read.

The visit comes days after Mr Odinga, the country’s opposition leader, hit out at US Ambassador Meg Whitman, at some point referring to her as ‘rogue’

The two clashed over their opinion of the 2022 presidential elections which Mr Odinga, who contested under the Azimio la Umoja coalition, narrowly lost to President William Ruto.

Speaking at the Devolution conference in Eldoret, Mr Odinga urged the diplomat to refrain from interfering in Kenyan affairs.

The Kenyan politician emphasized that Kenya is not subservient to any foreign power and should be allowed to manage its own internal matters.

“Tell the rogue ambassador Kenya is not the United States. Kenya is not a colony of the United States. Keep your mouth shut while you are here. Otherwise, we will call for your recall back to your country,” warned Mr Odinga.

Mr Odinga’s comments came a day after Ms Whitman described the 2022 polls the ‘freest, fairest, and most credible election in Kenyan history’.

“I arrived in Kenya days before the general election, and what I witnessed was short of remarkable,” said Whitman at the same event.

Mr Odinga’s departure meanwhile, aligns with a period of national discourse, as both the government and opposition line up for talks dubbed the National Dialogue.

The talks, aimed to last for two months, aims to facilitate substantial deliberations with the goal of attaining mutual agreement on issues pertaining to governance, electoral reforms, and national cohesion.

Among the topics slated for discussion by the government include the reconstitution of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), implementation of the two-thirds gender rule, strengthening of the Constituency Development Fund, and the establishment and consolidation of the Office of the Leader of the Opposition.

Additionally, they aim to solidify the presence of the Office of the Prime Cabinet Secretary.

In contrast, the Azimio la Umoja coalition has identified concerns such as the rising cost of living, an audit of the 2022 presidential election results, and the restructuring and reconstitution of the IEBC.

They are also calling for dialogue on matters related to political party interference.

The Kenya Kwanza team at the talks comprises Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wah, Senate Majority Leader Araon Cheruiyot and Embu Governor Cecily Mbarire, along with additional members namely Hassan Omar and Catherine Wambilianga.

Conversely, the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition unveiled its own five-member delegation spearheaded by Wiper Party Leader Kalonzo Musyoka, accompanied by Minority Party Leader Opiyo Wandayi and DAP Party Leader Eugene Wamalwa.

The delegation is rounded out by Nyamira Senator Okon’go Omogeni and M—, among others.

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