Raila now says, Ruto is using Jubilee faction to scuttle bipartisan talks
Mr Odinga accused President Ruto of allegedly being behind the latest attempts to derail the ongoing engagements by pushing the Jubilee Party faction led by East Africa Legislative Assembly MP Kanini Kega to demand inclusion in the 14-member bipartisan committee.
The faction wants the talks, aimed at resolving the stalemate stemming from the August 9 presidential election, stopped until Jubilee is represented in the committee following withdrawal of Eldas MP Adan Keynan.
In a strongly-worded statement, Mr Odinga said the action by the Jubilee faction, which has since pledged loyalty to the President, is sponsored by “ the highest levels of the Kenya Kwanza regime”.
Describing the Jubilee faction’s demand as a “State-sponsored assault on multipartysm” that forms part of issues to be addressed by the bipartsan committee, Mr Odinga said the scheme is a continuing indication that Kenya Kwanza remains dishonest and contemptuous of the dialogue.
“Kenya Kwanza is clearly working through its hired backers to scuttle the talks or cripple them through endless litigation. These games could prove extremely costly,” he added.
Kenya Kwanza also introduced new contentious issues they want addressed by the committee, threatening the talks. The issues include electoral reforms to ensure closure of electoral outcomes for post-election peace and national stability and legal framework to give effect to Article 37 of the constitution to deal with organisers of demonstrations.
The ODM party leader warned President Ruto that Azimio is ready to explore alternative avenues should the contempt by Kenya Kwanza continue. Noting that they will not negotiate out of fear, Mr Odinga said Azimio did not stand down the anti-government protests because they are weak, but for the sake of peace and stability of the country.
“Kenya Kwanza must take a final notice from us that they risk scuttling a very serious national agenda through shortsighted intransigence, dishonesty and game of musical chairs,” said the former Prime Minister in the statement.
On Wednesday, the bipartisan committee’s co-chair Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo said they received a letter from Mr Kega’s faction protesting the removal of Mr Keynan from the panel. However, they referred them to Azimio where Jubilee is a member party.
“The question for the constitution to the committee is for the coalition. Jubilee is still part of Azimio and they should take their issues to Azimio,” he said.
Separately, Jubilee leaders allied to former President Uhuru Kenyatta, while addressing the media after a meeting with party county chairpersons at the headquarters in Nairobi yesterday, called out President Ruto for using party rebels to exact revenge for being kicked out of the former ruling party.
Secretary-General Jeremiah Kioni also accused individuals in the government of fuelling Jubilee wars, but reiterated that they are in Azimio for the long haul unless the national delegates conference (NDC) slated for May 22 and 23 at the Bomas of Kenya decides otherwise.
“We are in Azimio and we will abide by whatever position is taken by the coalition in regards to anti-government protests. We will fight for Jubilee and not allow people who lack respect for our party leader to destroy it,” he said. The former Ndaragwa MP said Mr Kenyatta will continue being the party leader unless he is removed during the NDC.
He challenged their rivals to appear before the NDC at Bomas and sell their agenda.
“Come to the NDC and face Uhuru and we’ll see where you will go. Or you can also form your own party and not come to destroy an existing one,” he said.
Jubilee Vice-Chairperson David Murathe said: “Don’t be deceived that the war in Jubilee is between Kioni and Kega. There is someone who is on a revenge mission because we chased him from Jubilee. Let them know we are in Azimio and supporting their programmes.”