Raila warns of fresh maandamano if all bi partisan talks with government fail
Azimio leader Raila Odinga has again ruled out the possibility of engaging in a political ‘handshake’ with President William Ruto.
Speaking at the Jubilee National Delegates Conference (NDC) in Nairobi on May 22, 2023, Mr Odinga further warned that he would call for fresh demonstrations if the ongoing bipartisan talks between the opposition and government lawmakers failed to bear fruit.
“We embraced the talks to secure a good deal for Kenyans, and if the deal will not be forthcoming, Kenyans can be sure we will not pursue vain dialogue,” stated Odinga.
His remarks came amidst ongoing discussions between various political parties aimed at addressing pressing national issues and finding common ground. The talks have outlined the high cost of living and electoral reforms as the chief agenda.
Odinga also took a swipe at individuals he claimed were motivated by their personal fears and political futures, accusing them of attempting to take over the ruling Jubilee party.
He referred to these individuals as ‘the same ones who live in mortal fear over their positions and political future’.
“They are the ones living in the nightmare of a handshake nobody is interested in. They want to destroy Jubilee not because it is weak but because they recognize Jubilee is a force now and could be an even bigger force and a threat in years ahead,” Odinga asserted, indirectly alluding to internal power struggles within the former ruling party.
Odinga further expressed his support for former president Uhuru Kenyatta, calling him a “brother” and urging rebels within the party to resign and seek a fresh mandate. He emphasized the need for unity within Jubilee and warned against divisive elements that could hinder the party’s progress.
Addressing recent statements made by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua who likened Kenya to a company of shareholders Odinga threatened to resort to the process of self-determination if the concerns raised by his party were not adequately addressed by the bipartisan team engaged in the talks.
“If the bipartisan team fails to address our concerns, we shall resort to the process for self-determination over sentiments like Gachagua’s that Kenya is a limited liability company,” Odinga warned.
Speaking at the same event, Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka defended former president Uhuru Kenyatta’s move to remain in active politics after handing over power.
He also threatened that the opposition will pull out of the bipartisan talks with government if allies of President William Ruto continue to cause confusion within the former ruling party.