The Kenya Kwanza administration faces internal dissent as key partners express their reservations about talks between President William Ruto and opposition leader Raila Odinga.
These influential figures, who played instrumental roles in President Ruto’s presidential victory in the last elections, have issued a warning that engaging in dialogue with the opposition could derail the Kenya Kwanza agenda.
National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetang’ula and Senate counterpart Amason Kingi have voiced their concerns, arguing that proposed talks with the opposition are a waste of time.
They believe that engaging with Raila Odinga is premature since he has not officially recognized Ruto as the legitimate president.
Speaking during a Sunday church service in Kwale attended by President Ruto, Wetang’ula stated that meeting with “strange people in strange places” would not address the pressing issue of high living costs for Kenyans.
He emphasized the need for delivering on the Kenya Kwanza plan to alleviate the burden on citizens.
Similarly, Kingi expressed his reservations, asserting that talks with Raila would only serve to derail the government’s agenda.
He argued that reducing the cost of living depends on allowing the President ample time to implement his manifesto, which would ultimately alleviate economic hardships.
Adding to the chorus of objections, Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi accused Raila of unnecessarily internationalizing Kenya’s issues, even though the country does not face any crisis akin to what other nations may be experiencing.
National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wah acknowledged that talks between the President and opposition leader would focus on specific framed issues.
Despite the government’s commitment to restoring peace, he clarified that engaging in dialogue does not diminish the significance of addressing the high cost of living, which remains a pressing concern for Kenyans.
In response to the objections, President Ruto confirmed that he had engaged in discussions with Raila Odinga.
The President emphasized their agreement that no leader, past, present, or future, would resort to violence to harm Kenyans.
As the Head of State, Ruto stated that he is committed to ensuring that all Kenyans can lead a life free from violence.
Reports have emerged of a meeting between Ruto and Raila in the presence of former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo in Mombasa last Friday.
The meeting has sparked further discussions and debates within the Kenya Kwanza administration and beyond.