Nyanza support Uhuru-Raila Truce but hard questions remain

From left Kisii Senator Sam Ongeri, Kisii Governor James Ongwae and his Deputy Joash Maangi listening to their lawyers submissions at Kisii High Court on 29/1/2017. [Photo/Standard]
Anxiety is growing in Nyanza over the nature of the agreement between NASA leader Raila Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Although many leaders who spoke to the Sunday Standard supported the Friday meeting, they said they were still in the dark over the deal and what it meant for the opposition.

"We are in the dark since the dialogue was shrouded in secrecy. We support the truce but we still do not know what to tell our people," said a senator who requested not to be named.

He added: "Besides supporting the move by Raila, we don't know what to say since the details of the agreement remain a secret. We only know that a committee has been set up to implement the deal but we don't know whether to expect a coalition government."

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In the streets and at "Bunge La Wenye Inchi" gatherings, residents questioned the presence of Suna East MP Junet Mohamed and Raila's daughter Winnie during the talks at Harambee House in Nairobi.

"We expected someone like Orengo (James) to accompany Raila to the meeting. The presence of Winnie has also sparked debate," said Domnic Onyango, a participant at the Kisumu Bunge forum.

Despite the uncertainty, leaders from across Nyanza congratulated the two for setting aside their political differences to heal the country.

Governors Cyprian Awiti (Homa Bay), James Ongwae (Kisii) and Cornell Rasanga (Siaya) described their move as a bold attempt at re-uniting Kenyans.

"I want to salute my party leader. His decision to sit down with President Kenyatta has once more demonstrated that he loves this country and would not want it burn," said Awiti. Mr Ongwae said the dialogue between the two leaders was good news.

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"That the two leaders have mutually agreed to climb down from their hard-line positions for the sake of Kenya is a show of statesmanship," said Mr Ongwae. Kisii Women representative Janet Ongera saluted the two leaders, saying the Abagusii community will support their new unity.

Other Kisii leaders who supported the dialogue are MPs Richard Onyonka, Richard Tongi, Alhpa Miruka, Sylvanus Osoro and Deputy Governor Joash Maangi.

MPs Mark Nyamita (Uriri), Jared Okello (Nyando), Paul Abuor (Rongo), Walter Owino (Awendo) and Onyango Koyoo (Muhoroni) also backed Raila's decision to work with Uhuru.

Former Nyatike MP Omondi Anyanga said: "We are happy. It is important to work together. Our people should now support the government of the day for development sake. Unity is always paramount."

uhuru-raila talksnyanza regionnasajubileenational dialoguepresident uhuru kenyatttaraila odinga