To put Kenya back on track, Ruto and Raila must hold talks

Azimio leader Raila Odinga and President William Ruto. [Standard]

The demonstrations led by opposition leader Raila Odinga have entered the second week, causing disruptions to businesses and normal life.

While it is the democratic right of any citizen to express their grievances, the prolonged demonstrations are now hurting Kenyans who are already facing hard economic times. It is time for President William Ruto to set aside his ego and engage in talks with Mr Odinga to find a lasting solution to the issues at hand.

The demonstrations started as a way for Raila to express his dissatisfaction with the government's handling of various issues, including corruption, insecurity, and the high cost of living. However, the prolonged nature of the demonstrations is now having adverse effects on the very people they were meant to help.

Businesses have been disrupted, causing loss of income for many Kenyans already struggling to make ends meet. Transport has also been affected, making it difficult for people to move around freely.

While Mr Odinga has every right to express his grievances, the prolonged demonstrations are now doing more harm than good. It is time for the president to step in and find a way to engage with the opposition leader to find a lasting solution.

The president must consider the welfare of the Kenyan people, who are now bearing the brunt of the prolonged demonstrations.

Lasting solution

Engaging in talks with the opposition leader is not a sign of weakness, but rather a show of strength and leadership. It is a way for the president to demonstrate that he is willing to listen to the concerns of all Kenyans, including those in the opposition.

It is also a way for the president to demonstrate that he is committed to finding a lasting solution to the problems facing the country.

Mr Odinga must similarly be ready and willing to talk. He should also drop his hardline position and hold dialogue with the president if he really means well for this country.

The issues that Mr Odinga is raising in his demonstrations are not new. They are issues that have plagued the country for years. Corruption, insecurity, and the high cost of living are issues that affect all Kenyans, regardless of their political affiliation. It is time for the president to take a holistic approach to address these issues, rather than simply dismissing them as the grievances of the opposition.

The president must demonstrate that he is willing to listen to the concerns of the opposition and both should work together to find lasting solutions to our problems. Kenyans want the current uncertainty and insecurity to come to an end as quickly as possible. Only the president and Raila can help us achieve that by holding constructive dialogue.

Mercy Mutai is a Media and communication consultant

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