US to Donate Millions for Uhuru-Raila Dialogue

  • The United States (US) government has reportedly created a multi-million special kitty to facilitate dialogue between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition Chief Raila Odinga.

    The US Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec while speaking to the Sunday Standard noted that his government was ready to facilitate the talks for the benefit of the Kenyan people.

    During the interview, the Ambassador acknowledged that there was a special kitty but did not reveal the exact amount set aside. The Standard, however, quoted the amount at Sh60 Million.

    [caption caption="File image of Ambassador Godec and Raila"][/caption]

    “We are working with Kenyan business, religious and community leaders, as well as other international partners on organising a potential National Conversation and we have funds to support it,” Godec stated.

    The funds raised by donors and other well-wishers for the dialogue is always used to acquire a neutral venue and facilitate expenses like the transportation of negotiators and the talk facilitators.

    Addressing issues that will be tackled during the talks Godec explained that " The US is committed to a national conversation involving all Kenyans to build national unity, address long-standing issues and resolve divisions exacerbated by the 2017 electoral process."

    The move by the United States comes amid threats by the Opposition that they will inaugurate former Prime Minister as the People's President if dialogue does not materialise.

    Last week, Wiper Party Leader Kalonzo Musyoka offered to bring together President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga together to end the stalemate in the country.

    "My brother President Uhuru Kenyatta, and I am calling him ‘president’ in quotes because he has the instruments of power at the moment, and my brother Raila Odinga, the time has come for us to sit and talk this one out.

    [caption caption="President Kenyatta, Mr Odinga, DP William Ruto and Senator Moses Wetangula at State House"][/caption]

    "If Uhuru and Raila cannot come together, I hope they will allow me to bring them together so that they can look at each other in the face. These are people who have worked together in the past,” he stated.

    He, however, explained that diplomats and the church should not participate in the dialogue adding that he coalition will proceed with the swearing-in if dialogue does not yield fruit but hoped that the talks will be beneficial.

    "If that does not work, we move to self-purification stage where non-violent approaches will pick. The last is direct action but I do not wish we get there,” he explained.