Raila absence delays President Uhuru, OKA meet

Thursday, August 26th, 2021 00:00 |
ODM leader Raila Odinga with the President of Tanzania Samia Suluhu Hassan in Tanzania, yesterday. Photo/PD/Courtesy

A meeting between President Uhuru Kenyatta, Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) chief Raila Odinga and One Kenya Alliance (OKA) leaders did not take place as earlier planned  because of the absence of the ODM leader.

The meeting had been scheduled after the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) verdict at the Court of Appeal to take stock of the ruling, its repercussion and way forward.

The quartet of Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi, Wiper Democratic Movement’s Kalonzo Musyoka, Kanu supremo Gideon Moi and Ford Kenya chief Moses Wetangula were to report on whether they had agreed to work with Raila.

However, the OKA leaders insist that the former premier can join their alliance as an equal partner and be ready to support one of them as their irreducible minimum demands.

Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jr and a close ally of Kalonzo told People Daily that the meeting was rescheduled since some of the leaders were away on personal and official duties.

“The meeting was rescheduled since Raila is still away. A new date will be fixed soon.

The BBI will feature prominently amongst other pertinent issues,” said Kilonzo Jr.

However, sources intimated to People Daily that the leaders are not keen on having a next meeting since they feel they are being depicted as people without an agenda and direction.

The source disclosed that the leaders feel that they are seen as not formidable political force and that they are only waiting for endorsement to take on Deputy President William Ruto.

“Some of the OKA leaders feel that they are being slighted and taken as people without any political weight.

Some of them are not keen on attending the next meeting,” said the source.

Their fears follow a meeting they had in Mombasa where President Kenyatta is said to have told the leaders that they should consider working with Raila if they are to beat Ruto in next year’s polls.

As weak as wind

The four leaders who were set to meet President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday, have been waiting for Raila to respond to what they have maintained is their irreducible minimum.

The president had also asked OKA leaders to go sell their agenda to the people and leave their options open on a single presidential candidate since from the intelligence report, none of them can purport to have the political might to defeat Ruto at the ballot without the support of Raila.

“You need to sit down and agree on how to work together. You cannot beat Ruto even if you are combined without Raila.

‘OKA is as weak as wind’. You need to make a decision based on realities on the ground and not hardline stand and emotions,” the source intimated.

It is this statement that seems to have irked the quartet and now feel that they are seen as people who cannot do things on their own unless supported.

 The OKA leaders have always insisted that they cannot work with Raila unless its Raila who joins OKA and endorse or supports one of them to take on Ruto in the August 2022 polls.  

“The President told all of them to go sell their agenda to the people and leave their options open as he hints of a Raila candidature.”

Yesterday, Raila who attended the inauguration ceremony of newly elected Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema passed by Dar es Salaam Tanzania where he paid a courtesy call to the two former first ladies and widows of the late Presidents Benjamin Mkapa and John Magufuli.

“I passed by to visit the families of my good friends Presidents Benjamin Mkapa and John Magufuli.

Great to see Mama Anna Mkapa and Mama Janeth Magufuli in high spirits,” said Raila in his official social media pages.

While Raila was in Tanzania, Wiper boss Kalonzo Musyoka was at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) headquarters to record a statement following summons in an ongoing investigation over his Yatta farm.

The visit follows a similar one he made in January 2021 after Deputy President William Ruto accused him of grabbing the 200-acre piece of land from the National Youth Service (NYS). 

“I own the land legally, the claim by the Deputy President are outrageous and I challenge him to substantiate his allegations.”

Kalonzo who has declared interest to vie in next year’s presidential election has been at loggerheads with Ruto who is also in the race to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Sources who attended the meeting said that the leaders insist that it is Raila’s turn to extend a hand of support to one of them.

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