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Raila issues ultimatum ahead of fresh bipartisan talks

The planned talks between the government and opposition appear to have been bogged down by trust issues even before they commence.

This after Azimio leader Raila Odinga, on August 5, 2023, issued an ultimatum to President William Ruto to ensure the negotiations are completed with 30 days.

Speaking in Siaya, Mr Odinga appeared to hint that he will resume the anti-government protests if the planned talks, which were birthed by former Nigeria President Olesegun Obasanjo, fail to be fruitful.

“We are ready for the talks. We will talk to those people. But we have to engage and finish the process with 30 days. If we cannot find a solution we will issue fresh directions. We have forwarded a strong team led by Kalonzo Musyoka to speak to them,” said Mr Odinga.

Mr Odinga also explained that the Azimio team will engage in the talks without conditions.

“We have offered them another chance at the talks and we want to see if they will take them seriously this time.”

Mr Odinga’s remarks come at a time President Ruto’s allies have dismissed the possibility of a political handshake between the two leaders.

Kiharu lawmaker Ndindi Nyoro, while speaking during the President’s trip to Central Kenya, also suggested that the talks between government and opposition will not add value.

“In fact, we should meet at a school in Nairobi, under a tree, and talk, the public should also be able to listen to our talk and witness what is going on,” added Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichungwah.

Azimio and Kenya Kwanza have unveiled five members for the proposed talks which come on the back of anti-government protests which left scores dead, others injured, and destruction of property worth millions of shillings.

The Azimio’s delegation is led by Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka with Minority leader Opiyo Wandayi, former Defence CS Eugene Wamalwa, Nyamira Senator Okong’o Omogeni and Malindi MP Amina Mnyanzi as the other members.

The Kenya Kwanza delegation comprises of National Assembly Majority leader Kimani Ichung’wah, Aaron Cheruiyot (Senate Majority Leader), Embu Governor Cecile Mbarire, Hassan Omar ( EALA MP) and Bungoma Woman rep Catherine Wambilinga.

The talks will centre around among other the cost of living audit of the 2022 elections and reconstitution of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commision (IEBC), inclusivity in national matters, and adherence to the Constitution in regards to political parties.

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