How Uhuru’s night of drinking with Raila paved way for handshake

Uhuru was worried deal with Raila would upset Ruto

This is according to a yet-to-be launched book, Kenya: The Failed Quest for Electoral Justice, penned by Odinga’s former communications assistant and journalist John Onyando.

In a serialisation done by the Standard, Onyando narrates an incidental meeting between President Kenyatta and Odinga while on separate visits to Kampala in August 2013.

Kenyatta was on a heads of state meeting while Odinga had attended an anniversary event to mark twenty years of the reign of Kabaka Ronald Mutebi II.

As chance would have it, the two Kenyan leaders, who had just come out of the divisive 2013 presidential election stayed on the same hotel.

President Kenyatta bumped into Odinga and invited him for a drink.

Onyando writes that on that night, President Kenyatta carried his favoured drinks and the two had a lively engagement away from their handlers.

A relaxed Kenyatta is said to have opened up to the Opposition leader on the challenges facing his Presidency.

He was concerned that the poisoned political environment was likely to hinder his plans for economic development but the NASA leader insisted that it was the Jubilee government that was inviting trouble by carrying out retrogressive laws.

Once back to the country, the two were not able to collaborate as they had agreed in Kampala but Onyando believes that the incident paved way for the now famous handshake.

Unlike in 2013 when President Kenyatta was concerned with the mudding his re-election campaign, this time he appears ready to carry out extensive reforms with the support of the ODM leader.

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