President William Ruto on Tuesday, July 25 extended an olive branch to opposition leader Raila Odinga.
The Head of State on his way to the neighboring Tanzania said he is ready to meet the Azimio leader after his trip.
“My friend Raila Odinga, I’m off to Tanzania for a human capital meeting to harmonize the expansion of employment opportunities in our continent. I’m back tomorrow evening, and as you have always known, I’m available to meet one on one with you anytime at your convenience. WsR,” Ruto’s statement read.
However, the unprecedented statement from Ruto drew mixed reactions from the Kenya Kwanza side, with some of its top leaders welcoming the move while others are jittery.
National Assembly Majority leader Kimani Ichung’wah criticized the idea of President Ruto meeting the opposition chief.
Ichung’wah wondered how people who did not recognize Ruto as President months ago now want to meet him.
Also Read: Ruto: I am Ready to Meet My Friend Raila
“Suddenly everyone wants to meet with you, even the one who 11 months ago didn’t even want to shake your hand nor talk to you now wants to and call you, his President,” Ichung’wa said.
“It is well, some progress. Happy that Raila has recovered from the flu but when did he start working at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or as State House spokesperson?” Ichung’wah posed.
Itumbi’s decodes Ruto’s Statement
In addition, Digital strategist Denniss Itumbi took a swipe at Raila and retired President Uhuru Kenyatta over the issue to meet and hold talks with the president.
Itumbi through a statement, gave his own interpretation of President Ruto’s statement Tuesday night.
He first commented on President not responding to claims made by retired president Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday, July 24
Itumbi insinuated that President Ruto was simply telling Kenyans to ignore Uhuru Kenyatta’s sentiments through the media. Adding that he will not have an exchange with his predecessor in public.
“To Uhuru Kenyatta – Please good people, Ignore the rant and communication through the media. I will not respond or even comment on the lies, allegations and spin.” Itumno wrote.
“No response. Let Uhuru Say what he may. Silence. There is no need to exchange with my predecessor on public platforms. Best respect is to just avoid responding. I will say nothing. Silence is my loud response.” He tweeted.
Furthermore, Itumbi explained his interpretation of Ruto’s message to Raila saying the president’s statement was very simple but had was loaded with deeper messages.
“I Am Busy Working – The world will not stop to listen to your endless complaints. In fact, even this evening I am going to discuss employment opportunities with other Heads of States. That is my priority. Let me work first.”
“You Need No Mediator – You say I snubbed the Tanzanian President? Really Tinga? I am actually going to Tanzania. I will be back tomorrow evening. You need no external mediators. I know you said in your presser Kenya has a crisis. There is no crisis.”
“Talks Can Only Happen in A Structured Manner – Hon. George Murugara, the leader of our Kenya Kwanza team, has already issued a statement asking Azimio to return to the table of the Bi-Partisan talks.
It was intentional that he made the statement long before my tweet. Even if you see me, that is the right forum for the talks. My team is ready, if you are serious about talks, that is the forum.”
“We Can Have an Informal Chat – Beyond the Bi-Partisan talks, you and I, Tinga can have tea and an informal chat. That is why I did a tweet. Not an official letter or Press Conference. The informal chat needs no planning. Just book an appointment and I will clear my diary to have that chat one on one, anytime that you are free.”
As long as Ruto, Raila meeting is not about Power Sharing
Nonetheless, Kiharu Member of Parliament Ndindi Nyoro welcomed the move by the president but stressed that the talks should not be about sharing the government.
“Protests and dialogue are not a route to any kind of government. We can talk about everything else apart from power sharing and opening the decision Kenyans made in August 2022,” Nyoro stated.
“What the President is communicating is that State House is a public place. He is always open to listening to Kenyans from all walks of life but rarely encourages people to see him through brokerage,” he added.