President Uhuru Kenyatta (centre) when he met political leaders including ODM leader Raila Odinga, Musalia Mudavadi (ANC), Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper), Moses Wetangula (Ford Kenya) and Gideon Moi (Kanu) at State House Mombasa on August 10, 2021.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has reignited efforts to unite former Nasa leaders Raila Odinga (ODM), Musalia Mudavadi (ANC), Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper) and Moses Wetang’ula (Ford Kenya).
This is after he held a meeting with the leaders at State House in Mombasa.
The head of state held the consultative meeting with a cross-section of political party leaders that also included Gideon Moi (Kanu) and ODM deputy party leader and Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya.
State House spokesperson Kanze Dena said the leaders discussed several subjects touching on the state of the nation, including the impact of Covid-19, how to revamp the economy, and the importance of maintaining peace, unity and national cohesion.
Over the weekend, President Kenyatta met Mr Odinga in Mombasa, with succession politics said to be top on the agenda exactly a year to the next General Election.
On Sunday, Mr Odinga confirmed to journalists that he met with the Head of State to deliberate on “some important issues”.
“If we wanted to publicise the meetings we could have done it. But we didn’t have anything to publicise. We just met and talked,” he said.
The meeting of the “handshake brothers”, as they refer to each other, comes days after Deputy President William Ruto accused the President of veering off the Jubilee agenda the moment he reached a truce with Mr Odinga, their main challenger in the last polls.
But the former premier condemned those criticising his role in the government.
“Many people are claiming Raila is in government but that’s not true. I am just an adviser. I am not in government,” insisted Mr Odinga on Sunday.
Reopen the economy
Speaking after attending a church service at the Anglican Church of Kenya Mombasa Memorial Cathedral, Mr Odinga urged the government to reopen the economy as it conducts mass vaccination to combat the pandemic.
The former premier said Kenyans have gone through difficulties due to the pandemic that disrupted the economy.
“The pandemic has changed the world. It has caused suffering and agony to families, especially those who’ve lost their kin to the virus. Covid-19 has turned lives upside down, devastating economies, jobs lost, companies running into bankruptcy,” said the ODM party leader.
He urged the government to reintroduce Kazi Mtaani to cushion the youth from the effects of the economic downturn.
“We need cash transfers. Government should reintroduce Kazi Mtaani for the young people. To stimulate the economy, we want a comprehensive economic recovery programme to help the country move,” he said.
He said he petitioned President Kenyatta to allow PSVs to operate at full capacity so they can recoup losses caused by the containment measures imposed by the State since last year to combat the pandemic.
“The bus drivers came and approached me, saying there was discrimination since SGR was not self-regulating…, so we petitioned the government to allow PSVs to operate (at full capacity),” he said. – nation.co.ke