Ruto allies set conditions for talks

Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

President William Ruto's allies from the Rift Valley and Nyanza have set terms for talks with the opposition to unlock the political stalemate.

Speaking during a prayer service in Kebeneti, Kericho County, the leaders maintained that they will not entertain negotiations for a power-sharing deal between President Ruto and Azimio leader Raila Odinga.

Senate Majority Leader (Kericho) said the Head of State has extended an olive branch to the opposition, but the talks would take place in Parliament.

"That is where the conversation about the country will be held. We will bring our issues together and take the country forward. Kenya Kwanza supporters shouldn't be worried, power-sharing deal will not be on the agenda," he said.

Ugenya MP David Ochieng argued that issues related to last year's General Election were resolved and the Supreme Court pronounced itself on the matter.

"The President will not be distracted from his vision for the country. He knows how the handshake messed up the Jubilee administration and won't take the country back to that route," he said.

MPs Joseph Cherorot (Kipkelion East), Hillary Koskei (Kipkelion West), and Kericho Woman Representative Beatrice Kemei proposed that the joint committee should consist of no more than ten members from Kenya Kwanza and Azimio.

"We are happy that the opposition has abandoned street protests. We are going to bring together the issues which were scattered by the bipartisan team and take the country forward," said Cherorot.

Kemei asked President Ruto to remain focused on implementing Kenya Kwanza agenda even as the talks get underway.

"Parliament has the mandate to address pertinent issues affecting the county. Every issue the opposition had will be discussed in Parliament," she said.

The Woman Rep lauded the Judiciary for giving the government the green light to implement the Finance Act, 2023.