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What I told Raila - Ruto confirms details of private meeting [Video]

The leaders of Kenya Kwanza and Azimio la Umoja have confirmed details of a meeting between them.

A collage of President William Ruto and Raila Odinga

In a meeting held on Friday July 28, President William Ruto and Raila Odinga agreed to commence talks aimed at addressing the issues that have caused protests in some towns including Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.

President Ruto first made reference to the meeting during his speeches in Kwale and Mombasa Counties on Sunday, July 30.

When he attended the Interdenominational Church service at Ukunda Showground, President Ruto said that the two leaders agreed that violent protests which led to the deaths of many Kenyans and the destruction of property worth millions is detrimental for the country.

As I have said I have engaged our friends in the opposition and we have agreed that as a nation, all leaders (past present and future), that violence, loss of lives, destruction of property, and destruction of public property will not be in the equation of the politics of Kenya, in the governance of Kenya and in any other way,” President Ruto said.

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He added that as the head of state, he was obligated to protect the lives and property of Kenyans.

President Ruto reiterated the same message in his subsequent stopovers in Likoni, Mombasa County.

On his part, Odinga said that the opposition had sanctioned the meeting which was chaired by former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo.

In a statement, Odinga said that the two sides were yet to agree on the scope and other details of the talks, disowning a statement issued by National Assembly Minority Leader Kimani Ichung'wa that outlined the key topics.

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Referencing the Friday meeting with President Ruto, he said "This initial meeting was to prepare ground for honest discussions of the issues we have been raising and those that Kenya Kwanza feels like raising."

"The meeting was therefore a talk about the envisaged talks," the former prime minister added.

He however expressed concern about the government down playing the presence of the former Nigerian president in the country.

Odinga emphasized that among the key issues the opposition was seeking to address is the cost of living and the repeal of the Finance Act 2023.

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According to President Ruto, the cost of living is already in his manifesto and protests could not solve the problem.

He said the government had programs to help farmers produce more food for the country, including lowering the cost of fertilizer further down to Sh2,500 from Sh3,500.

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