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Kalonzo wants to meet Jubilee as Catholic Bishops back Uhuru-Raila deal

By Protus Onyango and Erastus Mulwa | Published Thu, March 15th 2018 at 00:00, Updated March 14th 2018 at 22:18 GMT +3
Wiper party leader Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka and Ukambani Church Leaders forum led by Archbishop Timothy Ndambuki (Left) during a press conference at ABC church headquarters in Machakos town on March 14, 2018. [Photo by John Muia/Standard]

Barely a week after Opposition leader Raila Odinga caused a political storm by meeting President Uhuru Kenyatta, National Super Alliance (NASA) co-principal Kalonzo Musyoka now also wants to meet the Head of State.

Kalonzo, who was opposed to the way Raila met Uhuru without informing the other NASA principals, yesterday said he, Amani National Congress party leader Musalia Mudavadi and his Ford Kenya counterpart Moses Wetang’ula were willing to meet the President.

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The Wiper party leader said the proposed meeting would be an all-inclusive dialogue between the Jubilee Party leadership and the Opposition over the country’s unity after last year's long and gruelling electioneering period.

“Musalia, Wetang’ula and I may have to meet the President so as to hear from him, and it’s upon him to decide when to meet us after he returns from his foreign trip,” he said.

Kalonzo addressed the media after meeting with top clergy from Ukambani region at African Brotherhood Church (ABC) headquarters in Machakos County.

He declared no peace-loving leader would be opposed to constructive dialogue aimed at resolving the current political impasse facing the country.

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Separately, Mr Wetang’ula said he fully supported Kalonzo’s proposal.

“Raila briefed us fully about his meeting with the President and while we congratulate them for the gesture, I fully support the idea of the three of us meeting with the President. Going forward, we will call for a structured engagement,” he said at Parliament Buildings.

Personal opinion

However, Mudavadi dismissed the proposal, describing it as Kalonzo’s personal opinion.

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“We will go with what we discussed in Athi River, which is to fully brief our parties for their feedback. If we go to meet the President now, we will be committing the same crime we are accusing Raila of, that is, acting without consulting parties,” said Mudavadi.

Nakuru Town East MP David Gikaria said the State House gates were wide open for the Opposition leaders.

“An Englishman said only a fool does not change his mind. The move by the President and Odinga to bury the hatchet was the best thing to ever happen to this country. We fully support it,” said Mr Gikaria.

Meanwhile, Catholic bishops congratulated Uhuru and Raila for agreeing to work together to address challenges facing the country. The 23 bishops spoke after their Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) meeting in Nairobi yesterday.

“We laud this gesture and hope that it is an opening to a greater commitment towards seeking real solutions to a more just, democratic and prosperous country,” said Bishop Philip Anyolo, KCCB chairman.