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Thursday 19 April 2018
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Envoys, clergy in frantic bid to douse Kenyan fire

Development comes ahead of Tuesday’s parallel government inauguration

By John Eche

 

Foreign envoys and the clergy have moved into a frantic session of consultations and trouble-shooting ahead of Tuesday’s planned Peoples Assembly session to empower opposition leader, Raila Odinga as alternate President in Kenya.

As part of the consultations, they have held talks with the National Super Alliance, NASA, which has set out demands it wants met by President Uhuru Kenyatta and his government before they can engage in any meaningful talks.

“We demanded that any meeting must be centered on electoral justice for meaningful negotiations to take place between Jubilee and NASA,” a participant on the opposition side revealed.

US Ambassador, Robert Godec and UK High Commissioner, Nic Hailey led the foreign diplomats while the NASA team was represented by Raila Odinga and co-principal Musalia Mudavadi, Kitutu Chache MP Richard Onyoka and Governor Kivutha Kibwana. Catholic Bishop Alfred Korir was also present.

In the course of the talks, Raila reportedly remained silent all through, leaving Mudavadi to speak for the opposition.

Top of the opposition requests is that the police should admit that they killed NASA supporters and apologise to Kenyans over that.

“We also demanded that Kenyatta comes out and publicly apologises to Kenyans over the extra judicial killings by the police and also denounce their conduct,” a source revealed.

Mudavadi also reportedly stated that Kenyatta must personally call Raila and organise for an exclusive meeting between the two before other leaders from both sides can take part in any follow up negotiations. He also told the peace-mongers that there will be no further engagement if they do not return today with assurances on issues they had raised.

The opposition also called for respect from the diplomats and is said to have been angered by their “lecturing” of the Opposition in the recent past and called for equal respect for NASA and Jubilee leaders.

Analysts say that the development signals a possible breakthrough on talks seeking to end political division and ethnic polarisation that was occasioned by the prolonged electioneering period.

It will be recalled that Raila Odinga had pulled out of the October 26 repeat presidential poll, maintaining that he had won the August 8 poll.

 

 

President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya

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