Ruto offers to meet Raila Odinga amidst political tension

President William Ruto. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard] 

President William Ruto says he is ready to meet with Azimio leader Raila Odinga after his return from his Tanzania trip on Wednesday evening.

Taking to his Twitter page on Tuesday, July 25, Ruto said the timing of the meeting will depend on Odinga's availability.

“My friend Raila Odinga, I'm off to Tanzania for a human capital meeting to harmonise the expansion of employment opportunities on our continent. I'll be back tomorrow evening, and as you have always known, I am available to meet one-on-one with you anytime at your convenience,” Ruto tweeted. 

Ruto’s olive branch comes amid heightened political temperatures in the country, orchestrated by the spiraling high cost of living. The Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition has turned to mass protests as a way to push the government to come to a negotiating table and seek a way forward.

Odinga has since announced the suspension of Wednesday’s protests to hold a vigil for victims who have died as a result of police brutality. He asked supporters to light candles in remembrance of the victims.

“We are calling on Kenyans to come out and light candles and lay flowers in remembrance of and respect for the victims.During the vigils, candle lighting, and laying of flowers, we encourage Kenyans to say prayers and read out the names of the victims of police brutality. We shall provide the list of the victims in time for the exercise,” he said in a statement.

According to the coalition, at least 50 deaths have been reported so far, with hundreds of others being injured and admitted to hospitals with grave injuries.

The coalition has asked the International Criminal Court (ICC) to open investigations into the conduct of police officers during the protests.





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