The Opposition on Wednesday maintained that any talks must be anchored on the need for electoral reforms and justice, a demand set to irk President Uhuru Kenyatta.
This is despite the earlier assertion by President Uhuru Kenyatta that talks between him and Nasa leader Raila Odinga should instead focus on development and how to better Kenyan’s lives, but not politics till 2022.
Over the weekend, Nasa co-principal Musalia Mudavadi flanked by Ford Kenya Party leader Moses Wetangula announced the postponement of the swearing-in ceremony which was slated for Tuesday in high anticipation of talks with Uhuru Kenyatta, after the intervention of the Western envoys led by US ambassador Robert Godec.
National Super Alliance coalition National Coordination Committee chairman and former Machakos Senator Mr Johnson Muthama – who has been pushing Mr Odinga to take oath of office - and ODM national chairman John Mbadi described the President’s conditional invitation for talks during Tuesday’s 54th Jamhuri Day celebrations at Kasarani as “simple semantics made out of insincerity”.
President Kenyatta in various occasions has conditioned Nasa leadership to engage with him in talks on how to develop Kenya, deviating from the high expectation from Nasa which holds a view that talks should be anchored on electoral reforms, justice and in fact, the process of holding a fresh, free and fair elections within 90 days after the resignation of President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Mr Odinga’s team has several times said that it will not recognise Uhuru Kenyatta’s presidency, faulting the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission of illegally holding an election, which it termed as ‘sham’, and later declare Mr Kenyatta the victor. Mr Odinga, however, boycotted the repeat polls of October.
Meanwhile, Raila Odinga, Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang’ula on Wednesday met to discuss their take on the conditional window of talks with Uhuru Kenyatta.
Sources said the leaders were dissatisfied with the President’s position, especially after they postponed their planned swearing in of Mr Odinga on Jamhuri Day to give dialogue a chance.
Mr Odinga’s team has always maintained that it will only engage the Jubilee government in talks on electoral reforms, a change in the system of governance, devolution, as well as on reforming the Judiciary and the police.
But speaking at City Hall on Monday during the launch of Nairobi County’s new data centre, the President asked the opposition to forward to him any ideas on transforming the lives of Kenyans, saying “we cannot dialogue to continue politicking”.
“As I have stated before, as President of all Kenyans, I am willing and commit to engage all Kenyans, and all Kenyan leaders, including my worthy competitors, irrespective or their religious or ethnic affiliation, in fashioning this paradigm shift,” President Kenyatta said.