President Ruto sought my help to create the office of opposition leader, Raila says

Leader of Azimio la Umoja - One Kenya Coalition Party Raila Odinga during an Interview with the Standard Media Group Journalists at his Karen residence in Nairobi on February 28, 2023. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

Azimio la Umoja leader Raila Odinga has claimed that President William Ruto sought his help through envoys to create the position of opposition leader back in July 2022.

Speaking during an exclusive interview with KTN News on Tuesday night, Raila said envoys went to meet Ruto who at the time was the Deputy President seeking to know his next move in the event he was to lose the Presidential election.

According to Odinga, Ruto did not foresee his victory and he reportedly told the envoys that he wanted to become a strong opposition leader. "He said he wanted to be a very powerful opposition leader," Odinga said.

He said that Ruto sought the help of the envoys to push him to have the Uhuru Kenyatta administration create the position.

"He wanted them to help him (Ruto) pressurize me to create the position of an opposition leader in Parliament," said Odinga.

Odinga said that after Ruto emerged victorious in the election the envoys paid him a visit and asked him to create the position since he was now the president.

"That is the origin of this proposal. That is how he wrote the position of official opposition leader," said Odinga.

He said that got the information from several diplomats who spoke to him.

Odinga criticized the move by Ruto to write to the National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangula seeking to have the position created.

Odinga says that Ruto broke the law, likening his move to that of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) that was undertaken by the Kenyatta-led administration.

According to Odinga the same way the BBI case was thrown out by the Supreme Court because retired President Uhuru Kenyatta was deemed to have initiated the process, then Ruto is at fault for initiating the process of the creation of the post of opposition leader through the Speaker.

"The speaker should just sit and wait for bills to come to him. The president should not write to the speaker," said Odinga.

Odinga said that should the government seek to have a bill brought to parliament then there are procedures to be followed.