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Raila’s fresh demands ahead of bipartisan talks

Azimio leader Raila Odinga has made fresh demands to President William Ruto ahead of the much anticipated dialogue between government and opposition, amid talk of a fresh round of anti-government protests.

While addressing a political rally at the Kamukunji grounds On April 16, 2023, Mr Odinga stressed that he was ready to assemble his supporters countrywide in massive demonstrations against President Ruto’s government in Nairobi after the holy month of Ramadhan which ends on April, 20, 2023.

He also read a raft of fresh demands which include reducing the price of a 2kg packet of maize flour (Unga) to Sh100. The precious commodity which is consistently consumed by most families in Kenya is currently retailing at Sh200. President Ruto last week announced the price of a 2kg packet Unga could reduce to Sh150 but Mr Odinga says that is not enough.

Mr Odinga adds that the President should lower the cost of other commodities as Kenyans are struggling with the high cost of living.

“He (Ruto) has said the price of Unga will lower this week but that is not enough. We are demanding the price comes down to Sh100. The price of petrol and school fees must also come down.”

Mr Odinga has also said his team could boycott the talks of lawmaker Adan Keynan is part of the government side. the Azimio leader says President Ruto’s move to include Keynan in the talks is disrespectful.

“He was elected on a Jubilee ticket. He is an Azimio member. Can you imagine someone takes away your wife and when he wants to reconcile he sends your wife to the talks. That is disrespectful.” he said.

Azimio recently demanded the removal of Keynan from the Kenya Kwanza team after he was named among six members who will represent the government in negotiations with the opposition.

Kenya Kwanza’s team comprises Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale who is the leader of the delegation, George Murugara (Tharaka MP), Esther Okenyuri (Nominated Senator) and Mwangi Mutuse (MP Kibwezi West).

Others are Lydia Haika (Taita Taveta Woman Rep) and Bomet Senator Hillary Sigei.

The Azimio side is led by Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo, Nairobi Senator and ODM secretary general Edwin Sifuna, Narok Senator Ledama Ole Kina and Kitui Senator Enoch Wambua.

Initially the Azimio leader had made three demands to the President asking him to halt the process of appointing new Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) commissioners, lower the cost of living and open the IEBC servers to confirm whom between President Ruto and Mr Odinga won the August 2022 polls.

President Ruto has meanwhile asked Mr Odinga and the Azimio to stop the demonstrations and give dialogue a chance.

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