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Accept Uhuru win before dialogue, Jubilee tells Raila

By Standard Team | Published Mon, February 12th 2018 at 00:00, Updated February 11th 2018 at 22:52 GMT +3
National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale and Mumias East MP Benjamin Washiali at a past press conference on 23/01/18. [Photo: Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Jubilee Party leaders have welcomed remarks by foreign envoys that Opposition chief Raila Odinga should recognise Uhuru Kenyatta as the legitimately elected president of Kenya.

Eleven ambassadors yesterday asked Raila to accept the election of Uhuru and his deputy William Ruto as a legal expression of the people’s will before dialogue can take place.

United States Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec, together with ambassadors Jutta Frasch (Germany), Alison Chartres (Australia) Sara Hradecky (Canada), Mette Knudsen (Denmark), Anna Jardfelt (Sweden), Victor Conrad Rønneberg (Norway), Frans Makken (Netherlands), Tarja Fernández (Finland), Kim Ramoneda (chargé d’affaires, France) and Nic Hailey (United Kingdom) accused both Jubilee and the National Super Alliance (NASA) of undermining independent institutions as well as pushing the country to the brink of anarchy.

“The Opposition needs to accept that Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto are the legitimate President and Deputy President of Kenya as the basis for the dialogue that it and many Kenyans want. Stoking and threatening violence is not acceptable, nor are extra-constitutional measures to seize power,” said the envoys in a statement.

Jubilee Party Secretary General Raphael Tuju, National Assembly Leader of Majority Aden Duale and Justice and Legal Affairs Committee Chairman William Cheptumo said the envoys' demands confirmed there was no place for the 'people’s president'.

Mr Duale also ruled out any talks on electoral justice, stating the only engagement Jubilee was ready to have with the Opposition was how to develop the country.

“Our engagement can only be about development. On this parameter we are ready to engage our colleagues from the Opposition," he said. "If they want electoral reforms they can introduce some amendments and bring them to Parliament. The President has nothing to do with electoral changes."

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Mr Ruto's spokesman David Mugonyi reiterated that governments drew legitimacy from the people and their Constitution.

"Not the Opposition; never the Opposition. The idea that a government needs Opposition recognition is absurd, perverse and illegitimate," said Mr Mugonyi.

"The will of the people and the instruments of power as laid out in our supreme law are enough. Facts and reality cannot be changed by individuals' opinions. President Uhuru Kenyatta was elected by the people."

Kieni MP Kanini Kega said Raila had no choice in the matter as he could not call for dialogue with a leader he did not recognise.

"There is no debate about it. If you go to the doctor, the healing process starts when you accept you are sick, failure to which no treatment will work. Therefore, Odinga has no choice but to recognise President Uhuru,” said Mr Kega.

Mathioya MP Peter Kimari said Raila ought to accept the will of the people, stop creating political side-shows and support Uhuru in developing the nation.

“Raila should be participating in national development and positively criticising the Government instead of being sworn as the 'people’s president', a position that does not exist in the Constitution,” said the Jubilee lawmaker.

Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu also backed the envoys' stand.

“The only way the country can be unified is if we accept the reality we are living in now. Kenyatta is the President and William Ruto is his deputy, and they were legally elected and sworn into office,” he said.

Meru Deputy Governor Titus Ntuchiu and MPs Maoka Maore and Rahim Dawood also threw their weight behind the emissaries.

Ntuchiu said the envoys had done well to ask Raila to first accept he had lost a chance to participate in the October 26 presidential election.

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