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Raila meets Zambia president Hichilema in Nairobi

Raila Odinga has praised Zambia President Hakainde Hichilema as a revolutionary who will aid strengthen relations between Lusaka and Nairobi.

Odinga spoke after meeting the visiting Head of State at a State banquet prepared in his honour by President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi.

“It was great catching up with my long-time friend Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema at State House Nairobi. We had a hearty chat, and shared good laughs, and touched on strengthening ties among African Union member states,” said Odinga.

Deputy President William Ruto was not present at the event.

Hichilema’s visit has proved productive after the two countries agreed to work together towards removing barriers that hinder trade and investment between the people of the two countries.

“In this context, we have agreed to address the prevailing bottlenecks, including addressing ourselves to a few tariff and non-tariff barriers that bar our people from enjoying the freedom of trade amongst themselves,” said President Kenyatta at the banquet.

The two Heads of State also agreed that ministers responsible for the trade in the two countries will work together to expeditiously address the outstanding tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade.

“So this visit (by President Hichilema) is nothing more than a visit to reinforce and enhance the cooperation between our two countries as we seek to deepen that partnership for the mutual benefit of our respective people.”

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i, alongside his Foreign Affairs, Defence, and Agriculture counterparts Raychelle Omamo, Eugene Wamalwa and Peter Munya respectively, were among those in attendance.

The meeting between Odinga and President Hichilema comes a year after the Kenyan opposition leader attended his inauguration in Lusaka. President Hichilema had easily defeated Edgar Lungu in the presidential election in August 2021.

He is the second Head of State to meet Odinga in Nairobi inside a month, after Sierre Leone President Julius Maada Bio.