Presidents William Ruto, Samia Suluhu meet despite speculation

President William Ruto with Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu in Dar es Salaam. [State House Tanzania]


President William Ruto met his Tanzanian counterpart Samia Suluhu amidst speculation that the two are not on good terms.

Ruto who joined other African leaders for the Africa Heads of State Human Capital Summit at Julius Nyerere International Conference Center in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday, July 26 was later seen engaging in a conversation with Suluhu.

Speculation on the duo's rift began when Suluhu failed to attend Kenya's Madaraka Day celebrations on June 1, 2023, as is the norm between the East African countries.

The rumors intensified after Azimio la Umoja coalition leader Raila Odinga claimed that President Ruto failed to attend mediation talks chaired by Suluhu on Wednesday, July 12.

According to Odinga, Suluhu was in the country at the invitation of the President to mediate but she was kept waiting for two days by Ruto who never showed up.

President William Ruto with Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu in Dar es Salaam. [State House Tanzania]

"Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu was in the country two weeks ago on President Ruto's invitation. We as Azimio were available, but they were not available. She had to spend two nights but it was all in vain," Odinga told the journalists.

According to sources, Suluhu was to meet Ruto at Fairmount Hotel Kenya Safari Club in Nairobi where he arrived with three people thought to be Tanzanian Government officials.

Odinga on his part arrived with five members in his entourage.

President William Ruto with Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu in Dar es Salaam. [State House Tanzania]

Officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs however declined to confirm or deny Odinga's claims saying they did not want anything to do with the controversy.

However, an official in the know who sought anonymity confirmed to The Standard that Suluhu was in the country but for holiday purposes and not at the invitation of the President.

The Standard also verified from sources in the Tanzanian government that Suluhu was in Kenya on an invitation to broker peace between Ruto and Odinga but was left frustrated as one of the parties refused to meet her.

It is the alleged statements by those who witnessed her arrival in Kenya that pushed netizens to believe that that was the reason why Ruto said that he is ready to engage in talks with Odinga after his visit to Tanzania.

In the tweet, Ruto said: "My friend Raila Odinga, I am off to Tanzania for a human capital meeting and I will be back tomorrow evening. As you have always known, I am available to meet one on one with you anytime at your convenience."

Odinga is yet to respond but leaders including those from Azimio are hopeful that the dialogue if it will happen, will yield fruits.

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