Raila Turns Down President Ruto’s Invite for Talks

Raila Turns Down President Ruto’s Invite for Talks

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Azimio La Umoja leader Raila Odinga has turned down an invitation by President William Ruto to a discussion table to solve the political impasse in the country.

Raila said the President was not serious about the dialogue adding that the Head of State was playing games about the talks and engaging in public relations exercise.

“The President is not being serious. If he wants to meet me, he cannot invite me through Whatsapp or social media (twitter). He knows my address and my phone number,” Raila said.

He claimed that the President has constantly frustrated efforts by Azimio to find a truce after protests to push the government to address various issues key among them the high cost of living.

“We had agreed to form a joint team to carry out negotiations on the contentious issues. As soon as the temperatures cooled down, they backed off and the talks stalled. I don’t believe Ruto is serious at all,” he said in an interview with Aljazeera.

“He is engaging in double speak. On one side when there is tension, he speaks nicely saying that he is ready for talks any time. The other time, when things cool off he claims that Mr Odinga and his group want a handshake so that they can have a share of the cake. And we have said we don’t want any kind of a cake.”

In what appeared to be extending an olive branch to the Opposition, the President Ruto tweeted on Tuesday night that he was ready to meet the Raila for talks any time and at his convenience.

“My friend @RailaOdinga, I’m off to Tanzania for a human capital meeting to harmonise 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 wrote on his Twitter handle.

Ruto was reacting after Raila revealed that the President was a no-show in a cease-fire meeting that was to be mediated by Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu who had jetted into the country two days earlier at what the Azimio brigade claimed to be the Kenyan Head of State’s invitation.

State House has since denied claims by the Azimio leader that President Ruto invited his Tanzanian counterpart to the country for mediation talks between the government and the Opposition.

State House Spokesperson Hussein Mohamed yesterday said that there was no official documentation to confirm the said visit as per the established protocols guiding any visit by the Head of State.

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