Opposition leader Raila Odinga now says that President William Ruto’s statement on Sunday, when he urged the former premiere to call off the nationwide anti-government protests, did not capture demands made by the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Alliance.

In his statement on Sunday, President Ruto suggested a bi-partisan engagement in Parliament on the reconstitution of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) but did not touch on how his government intends to address the country’s high cost of living.

Speaking in Nairobi on Tuesday following a meeting of Azimio’s hierarchy, Odinga noted that he wants President Ruto’s government to first and foremost address inflated food, fuel and electricity prices in the country.

“Mr Ruto made his statement but that was not the basis of the understanding between the parties negotiating between us. That statement (Ruto’s) fell far short of what had been agreed and they know it. Our statement reiterates firmly what will be our basis of engagement with Kenya Kwanza,” said Odinga.

“We resolved that the regime must take immediate steps to bring back the cost of unga to Ksh.100 as at the time of the election… We further resolved that Kenya Kwanza must take immediate steps to lower the cost of fuel and put a freeze on the recent increase in the cost of electricity. These are not matters for a committee,” added Odinga.

The Azimio leader pointed out that President Ruto’s suggestion to have the said bi-partisan engagement in Parliament may not serve its intended purpose, adding that Azimio wants to have a conversation at the national level through a process akin to the 2008 National Accord, which was brokered by Koffi Annan.

“Our suggestion is to have a conversation at the national level through a process akin to the 2008 National Accord. To this end, the coalition proposes a team drawn from its ranks both in Parliament and outside Bunge,” said Raila.

He added that the introduction of electoral reforms is still a matter of importance to the opposition.

“This meeting agreed that auditing the 2022 election servers is necessary and urgent,” he said.

“We understand some people are trying to interfere with the servers. We tell them we are watching them. We want forensic audit by experts.”

He went on to state that the State must also foot the medical bills of persons injured or killed during the anti-government demos.

“Further we have resolved that the state must immediately take up the cost or waive all medical bills of the victims of police brutality including journalists, and the last expense costs of those who lost their lives,” he said.

“We assure our people and Kenyans that our eyes are firmly on the ball, and reiterate that we shall go back to the people as the earliest sign of lack of seriousness by the other side.”

Odinga similarly dismissed claims that he held a meeting with President Ruto for an agreement, instead insiting that it was the government side that reached out to him (Odinga).

“The request came from the other side and our people responded and gave conditions. There have been allegations that I met Mr Ruto is the Mara…. nothing can be further from the truth. There has been no meeting between me and Mr Ruto,” said Odinga.

The former premier likewise scoffed at allegations intimating that he was only leading the bi-weekly Azimio protests in the hopes of striking a political agreement with President William Ruto.

“We have never talked about a handshake. That is the language coming from the other side. Take it to Gachagua, and tell him I don’t want to even shake his hands,” he said.

By Citizen Digital

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