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Gachagua: We Won’t Engage Raila Until He First Recognizes Ruto As President

  • The DP said Odinga, who is on record calling the Kenya Kwanza government illegitimate, must publicly recognize Ruto as the Head of State.
  • “…we cannot talk to Raila. On what grounds? Who is he in Kenya? He is just an ordinary citizen,” said Gachagua.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua now says Azimio La Umoja One Kenya coalition leader Raila Odinga must publicly recognize William Ruto as Kenya’s President before any dialogue between the government and the opposition.

Speaking on Sunday during a church service in Mathira, Nyeri County, the DP said Odinga, who is on record calling the Kenya Kwanza government illegitimate, must publicly recognize Ruto as the Head of State.

“Before we can even agree to talk to him, he must first acknowledge in public that William Ruto is the president of Kenya… How do you talk to somebody who doesn’t recognize your legitimacy? Tell your MPs, because they are elected, to talk to ours,” said Gachagua

“But us, we cannot talk to Raila. On what grounds? Who is he in Kenya? He is just an ordinary citizen. But if he has his own personal issues, let him come and we listen to him. But we cannot have an engagement with Raila Odinga because who is he in Kenya? He is not elected by anybody.”

Last Sunday, Odinga called off the bi-weekly anti-government protests he had staged for two weeks and said he is ready for dialogue to address key issues the opposition has with Ruto’s government.

It followed President Ruto’s appeal to Odinga hours prior, urging him to stop the demonstrations and instead consider talks towards a bipartisan parliamentary process in the recruitment of commissioners to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

One of the concerns the opposition had brought up with President Ruto’s administration was the creation of a new electoral body.

The opposition on Thursday unveiled its 7-member team during the coalition’s Parliamentary Group meeting held in Machakos to engage in the bipartisan parliamentary dialogue.

They are Ledama Ole Kina, Edwin Sifuna, Millie Odhiambo, Enock Wambua, Amina Mnyazi, David Pkosing, and Otiende Amollo.

Odinga threatens to resume protests if “no meaningful outcome” is reached from the bipartisan talks.

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