Monday, May 8, 2023 –Azimio leadership has given a fresh date of their demonstrations citing laxity from the side of government to start peace talks.
Addressing in Nairobi today Monday may 8 noon, its leader Raila Odinga said President William Ruto lured them to halt demos for bipartisan talks which have not started upto today.
He added that, his opposition side had genuinely accepted to listen to the government but how things have turned out, Azimio could go back on the streets in the next 48 hours.
“We called off our demos to give room for talks. But we have begun seeing signs of reluctance from the other side. We expect talks to begin in earnest tomorrow. We are giving them upto Wednesday, failure to which we shall declare the agreement null and void,” he noted.
This being last 48-hour ultimatum to the ruling side of Kenya Kwanza which now has to put its act together and allow talks to pick pace.
He revealed that President William Ruto could have only wanted protests called off because there were several top visitors flocking the country that particular week. This, Raila said he agreed with it as a sign of respect to the administration; but if talks will not take shape in the next 48 hours, he will nolonger listen to such similar calls from the government.
“We acted in good faith to call off the demonstrations because Kenya Kwanza had approached us and said they were ready for talks and that they would remove Adan Keynan who they had put as one of their delegates.
“We knew that the real reason they were doing it was because they were expecting visitors who were coming into town and they did not want demonstrations at the time,” Raila added.
Odinga, therefore, said Wednesday could be the last day before turning back to the streets for another round of demonstrations.
“They are saying that members are not available and they don’t have a quorum to begin discussions.
“We have given them Monday and Tuesday. The talks must start on Wednesday. If they are not ready, we will treat that agreement as cancelled and explore other options available to us,” Raila firmly said.
Last week, Kenya Kwanza coalition yielded to the demands of the opposition and replaced Eldas lawmaker Adan Keynan with Saku legislator Rasso Dido in the spirit of national interest.
Further, Government side agreed with Raila Odinga’s other demand to have joint secretaries nominated outside the Parliament.
The agreement to have other experts from outside Parliament saw William Ruto’s side pick on lawyer Muthomi Thiankolu; as Raila’s side chose to have long-serving ODM lawyer Paul Mwangi as their representative.