Friday, July 19, 2024

Kenya: Stop Blowing Up Crisis in the Country – Prime Cabinet Secretary Mudavadi to Odinga

Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi has blasted Azimio coalition leader Raila Odinga for magnifying issues in Kenya to make them a global crisis.

Mudavadi, who spoke a day after reports emerged that President William Ruto had met the Opposition leader in the presence of former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, said political issues can be managed.

“Do not try and internationalize your losses here,” he told Odinga, “We are not in a crisis, be honest with the people of Kenya.”

Odinga narrowly lost the August 2022 presidential election to Ruto but he has always insisted his vote was stolen despite a Supreme Court verdict that ruled there was no evidence on his claims.

Most recently, Odinga mobilised street protests against the high cost of living which his coalition wants included as an agenda in talks by a ten-man team proposed in the Obasanjo meeting in Mombasa.

But Ruto’s top men have made it clear they are opposed to the talks, saying they will only serve to derail the government agenda.

National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangula and his Senate counterpart Amason Kingi have warned the president that his talks with the Opposition leader are a waste of time because he has not even recognized him as president.

“Meeting strange people in strange places will not help in lowering the cost of living for Kenyans but delivering on the plan will,” said Wetangula Sunday in front of the president when they accompanied to a church service in the coastal town of Ukunda.

Kingi too said the talks agreed upon during a meeting between the president and the opposition leader will “derail the government agenda”.

Mudavadi said Odinga was “making issues in Kenya sound so international yet we don’t have a problem.”

“Raila is just internationalizing his electoral loss. Kenya is not in a crisis like Sudan,” he said, speaking at the same church.

Speaking elsewhere in Kiambu County Sunday, House Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wah said “Violence, bloodshed, and anarchy shall not be used to transact business in the Republic of Kenya” while referring to recent street protests that left 50 people dead, according to Azimio even though official figures show 20 died mainly shot by police.

Ichung’wah insists the two parties will only engage on issues outlined in a statement he issued Saturday following the Ruto-Raila secret talks.

The president has confirmed he engaged the opposition leader and “we agreed that no leader past, present, or future will ever use violence to harm Kenyans.”

“As a Head of State, I am obligated to ensure that all Kenyans are guaranteed a life without violence,” he said after reports indicated that he met Odinga in the presence of former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo in Mombasa.

Odinga’s Azimio La Umoja Coalition has protested what it terms a “one-sided” statement issued by its Kenya Kwanza counterpart on the agenda of their proposed meeting following the Mombasa meeting between their top leaders.

The Opposition coalition is particularly concerned that Kenya Kwanza did not include the cost of living, electoral reforms and police brutality among others as part of the agenda for proposed talks between the two coalitions to resolve political differences.

Soon after the meeting, Odinga’s team was the first to issue a statement outlining the agenda for the agreed talks.

The statement was signed by Azimio Minority Leader in the National Assembly Opiyo Wandayi.

But shortly after, Majority Leader Ichung’wah issued a joint statement that only had his signature, outlining the agenda for the agreed talks once a 10-man team is formed.

“The committee shall be seized with 5 issues; reconstitution of IEBC, implementation of 2/3 gender rule, the entrenchment of Constituency Development Fund, Establishment and the entrenchment of Office of the Leader of the Opposition and embedment of the Office of Prime Cabinet Secretary,” the joint statement states.

But Raila’s Azimio insists that the terms of engagement in the joint statement were the views of their Kenya Kwanza counterparts.

“Azimio has taken note of the one-sided statement released by the majority leader of the National Assembly on behalf of the Kenya Kwanza regime. It should be noted that in our statement that was released before KK’s, Azimio is yet to table its substantive issues,” the Opposition coalition said in a statement posted on Twiter which is rebranding to “X”

Azimio is particularly concerned that Kenya Kwanza did not include all the issues agreed by Ruto and Odinga to form part of the talks, including the high cost of living that led to protests in the country this month leading to deaths of 50 people as stated by Azimio even though official records place the number at 20.