President William Ruto has assured the restive Mt Kenya region that his meeting with ODM leader Raila Odinga will not result in a handshake.
During his political tour that covered Kiambu, Murang’a, Kirinyaga, and Nyeri counties, the President urged the electorate not to be restless, as he has no plans to enter into any working cooperation with Opposition chief Raila Odinga.
“If there is a day to deal with the handshake shenanigans and protests, then it is here with us under my administration,” the Head of State said, as he addressed the issue during his political tour.
“I assure you, and you need not be restless. Raila can’t take me in circles. I cornered them with former President Uhuru Kenyatta, and I assure you he will end up in Bondo.”
The President continues to seek confidence from the electorate, who overwhelmingly voted for the Kenya Kwanza administration and revolted against their son Uhuru who supported Raila in the last election.
Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro, a close ally of the President and the National Assembly Budget chairperson, said the government should prioritise its development agenda, not the talks.
“Do you, Kenyans, want a handshake? Shouldn’t we concentrate on our agenda?” he said when he addressed a rally in Karatina.
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National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wah, who has been selected by the government to represent Kenya Kwanza in the upcoming talks, dismissed the list of issues presented by Azimio co-principal Kalonzo Musyoka, saying none of them will come to fruition.
“On the issue of auditing last year’s election, that was thoroughly done by the Supreme Court. The so-called issue of inclusivity is nothing but an attempt to join the government through the back door, and that will never happen,” Ichung’wah said.
The majority leader further ruled out holding the meetings in three-star hotels and enjoying allowances.
“We will not allow them to interfere with our plans to fulfil what we promised during the electioneering period. We are steadfast and ready for them,” Ichung’wah said.
Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga said the people of Mt Kenya who elected the President into office are content with how the government is handling its affairs. He said they are opposed to a handshake between the President and Raila.
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua said the administration had effectively neutralised the Opposition’s attempts to use violence to gain positions. He said they will not tolerate violence.
“They thought we were joking, but now that we stopped them, the country is peaceful, while the organisers and financiers of the protests have gone abroad with their families,” Gachagua said.
Meanwhile, Raila and Kalonzo are poised to benefit from a proposal fronted by Kenya Kwanza aimed at restoring political stability.
Although details of the post are still scanty, The Sunday Standard has learnt that proponents have borrowed a leaf from the AU envoy for Infrastructure post that the ODM leader held during the second term of former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s regime.
“We are pushing for the president to have Raila get a UN position. This will reduce political temperatures in the country and we shall have an enabling environment to fulfill our mandate to the people.
“Among other Azimio coalition leaders, there is no other leader who can lead protests in the country,” a source in Kenya Kwanza explained.