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Rigathi Gachagua ‘warns’ National Dialogue team over discussing ‘handshake’

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has ruled out the possibility of a working relationship between the ruling United Democratic Alliance (UDA) and opposition’s Orange Democratic Alliance (UDA).

The DP who has been keen to form invite political parties to form a coalition with the UDA, appeared to suggest ODM party leader Raila Odinga could not be trusted to work with government.

Mr Gachagua made these remarks while addressing residents of Eldoret.

He said: “You know we embraced the Jubilee party…But attempting the same with ODM would cause a stomachache,” the DP declared. Gachagua’s comment pertains to the ongoing National Dialogue between the government and opposition aimed at reducing the escalating political tensions in the country.

The talks came about after the opposition agreed to suspend the anti-government protests that had rocked the country, leaving about 22 people dead according to Human Rights activists.

Dozens were injured too, in the confrontation between the Police and opposition supporters, while property worth millions of shillings was destroyed.

The bipartisan talks are led by Majority Leader Mr Kimani Ichung’wa (Kenya Kwanza) and Mr Kalonzo Musyoka (Azimio), with other technical team members from both sides also participating.

“We have issued a directive to let them engage in discussions, but we should not hear about a (political) handshake,” the DP remarked.

President William Ruto has also expressed his position on the matter, ruling out the possibility of a handshake between himself and the opposition.

Mr Odinga has also dismissed the possibility of closing ranks with the government, emphasizing his primary concern is ensuring affordable and sustainable living costs for all Kenyans.

Odinga also wants the reconstitution of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

The opposition protests are primarily aimed at pushing the Dr Ruto-led government to lower the rising cost of living.

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