Yesterday, Mr. Odinga rejected a proposal from the Head of State for addressing the Opposition’s concerns through a bi-partisan team within Parliament, instead advocating for an approach resembling the 2008 National Accord.
The negotiations were facilitated between Mr. Odinga and then-President Mwai Kibaki to curb the unrest that ensued after the announcement of presidential election results, which declared the latter as the winner of the re-election. Following a meeting with coalition leaders at the SKM Command Center in Nairobi, Mr. Odinga took issue with Dr. Ruto’s declaration on Sunday, contending that it did not align with what their negotiating team had agreed upon.
Mr. Odinga stated that the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition Party had determined to advocate for the establishment of a group consisting of Members of Parliament and other experts from outside the legislative body. He indicated a potential return to demonstrations if the two groups could not reach a consensus.
This marked the first instance when the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader disclosed that representatives from President Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza and his Azimio had been engaging in discussions prior to the ceasefire on Sunday.
“Delegates from both parties had convened, and I want to clarify that it was the opposing team that initially approached us,” he stated. However, Mr. Odinga did not divulge the identities of the mentioned delegates or the details of their meetings. He maintained that this information was not the media’s concern. Mr. Odinga’s announcement yesterday indicated a solidification of stances, even as President Ruto also maintained that negotiations would only occur within a parliamentary context.
During a press conference in Kigali, Rwanda, Dr. Ruto dismissed the possibility of a “Handshake” with Mr. Odinga, alluding to a previous agreement the Opposition leader had with former President Uhuru Kenyatta in March 2018.