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Ruto shuts down Azimio talks question at State House presser

President William Ruto has brushed away questions regarding the fresh round of political discussions pitting his government against the Azimio Coalition group.

At a press briefing detailing the state of Agriculture held at State House, Nairobi, on August 2, 2023, President Ruto shut down a journalist who requested for a clearer picture on the talks, saying he preferred to concentrate on the main subject of the day.

The Head of State interrupted the journalist immediately she mentioned the word ‘Azimio’ and even before she could finish detailing the question.

“Please let’s not go there, let’s not go there. So, let’s stick with the first question,” he said.

The move comes on the day the government side, dubbed Kenya Kwanza, unveiled its line-up for the talks.

Kenya Kwanza further hit out at the opposition for invoking the name of former Nigeria President Olesegun Obasanjo when ‘the statesman had requested for privacy’

Obasanjo is said to have recently chaired talks between President William Ruto and Azimio leader Raila Odinga aimed at settling the political differences between the duo.

The talks have been promoted as a way of taming the escalating tensions in the country brought by consistent demonstrations called by the opposition.

The protests, which according to Azimio leader Raila Odinga are aimed at forcing the government to address the high cost of living, have left dozens dead, property worth millions of shillings destroyed, and several arrests.

The Azimio team picked for the talks is led by former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, a co-principal in the opposition outfit.

Also in the team are former Defence Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa, National Assembly Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi, Malindi MP Amina Mnyazi and Nyamira Senator Okong’o Omogeni.

Kenya Kwanza have meanwhile picked Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wah to lead its team in the talks.

Others are Senate Majority Leader Araon Cheruiyot, Embu Governor Cecily Mbarire, Hassan Omar and Catherine Wambilianga.

The two teams intend to address among other the cost of living.

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