Uhuru, Raila and OKA Principals in Late Night State House Meeting

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta (centre) meets 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 (centre) meets 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 on Monday, January 17 met Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga and One Alliance Kenya (OKA) principals during a banquet held in honour of the visiting Hungarian President Janos Ader.

    While the details of the meeting have not been made public, a dispatch from the Presidential Strategic Communication Unit (PSCU) confirmed that Gideon Moi, Moses Wetangula, Musalia Mudavadi, and Kalonzo Musyoka were all present.

    The leaders had been invited by the President for the dinner that ran into the night.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga at State House on Monday, January 17, 2022.
    President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga at State House on Monday, January 17, 2022.
    ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi, ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru and other dignitaries at State House on Monday, January 17.
    ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi, ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru and other dignitaries at State House on Monday, January 17.

    But this is not the first time that Odinga and OKA chiefs were meeting with President Kenyatta at State House, with previous interactions having ruffled political feathers.

    The Monday night meeting comes days after OKA Principals skipped a luncheon that was held at State House on January 13, despite getting invites.

    Speaking to journalists on January 14, Wetangula revealed that they received the invites after they had made other plans.

    "We were engaged elsewhere in party activities. Remember this is the countdown to elections. For heaven's sake, every party leader has a diary full.

    "You probably have people who have travelled all the way from Mandera to see you in Nairobi, you surely can't abandon them for a lunch. You have to attend to them because they are the future of your party. We received the invitations and we have no difficulty in meeting the president, we have met him before and we will meet him in future." Wetangula explained. 

    On January 15, Mudavadi caused jitters after skipping an OKA retreat which was held in Naivasha. The ANC leader explained that he could not attend the meeting as he was organising his party's National Delegates Conference to be held on January 23.

    Kenyatta has openly declared support for Odinga's Presidential bid, with pundits opining that he could be whipping OKA to rally behind the Azimio La Umoja Movement.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta with ODM leader Raila Odinga, Leader of Majority in the National Assembly Amos Kimunya and Senate Majority Leader Samuel Poghisio and Deputy Speaker in the Senate Margaret Kamara at State House on Thursday, January 13, 2022.
    President Uhuru Kenyatta with ODM leader Raila Odinga, Leader of Majority in the National Assembly Amos Kimunya and Senate Majority Leader Samuel Poghisio and Deputy Speaker in the Senate Margaret Kamara at State House on Thursday, January 13, 2022.
    PSCU

    At the banquet held on January 17 at State House, President Uhuru praised the strong ties between Kenya and Hungary while regretting the low trade volumes over the last five decades despite the existing huge commercial potential.

    He also revealed that Kenya was counting on Hungary's support to unlock the economic partnership agreement between the East African Community and the European Union.

    "To address the low trade volumes, we have to intensify efforts to promote greater linkages and networks between the private sector and business communities in the two countries; and encourage them to take advantage of the economic opportunities existing in our respective countries,” he said.

    On his part, Hungarian President Janos Ader praised Uhuru's government for its commitment to improving the lives of Kenyans through transformational development programmes and expressed optimism that the current development tempo will continue beyond President Kenyatta's term.

    “What I wish you Mr President because you will be handing over your office in August, is that during this remaining six months, you should have enough time and you should have enough strength to prepare all these (development) programmes and to launch them.

    “I wish that your successor should have the same kind of enthusiasm and drive to actually conclude all these (development) programmes like the way you started Mr President,” President Ader stated.