President Uhuru Kenyatta has opened up on why former Prime Minister Raila Odinga did not join his government after the March 2018 handshake.
While meeting with Mt. Kenya leaders at the Sagana State Lodge on Wednesday, February 23, the Head of State revealed that he could not give part of the government to Raila because of a power-sharing agreement he had made with Deputy President William Ruto.
Uhuru stated that he had already given half of the government to Ruto which made it impossible for him to give Raila a share.
"When I met Raila I told him I had shared half of my govt and I did not have any positions to give him. I only wanted the country to be united, did Raila join govt?" he posed.
He added that Ruto was the last person to be informed of the details of the handshake adding that his deputy persuaded him to change his mind
Uhuru defended himself against criticism from leaders allied to Ruto insisting that the DP was informed of the discussions between him and Raila.
"On the day I met Raila for the handshake, the last person I spoke to before heading to Harambee House was my deputy and I informed him why I was uniting with the former Prime Minister even as he tried to convince me otherwise. For him to claim I lied and I betrayed him that is a straight lie," he stated.
He also defended his decision to shake hands with Raila stating that the country was headed in the wrong direction after the disputed presidential election.
"He had been telling me to stand firm and not share the govt because we had the state machinery. But my gate and his are heavily guarded, the people who were suffering did not have guards, their kiosks were being burnt down in Kawangware. I decided I had to reach out and I kept him in the loop," Uhuru stated.
Additionally, he maintained his support for Azimio La Umoja and the candidature of Raila, stating that the ODM boss was better placed to take over the reins of power from him.
Prior to the meeting, allies of Uhuru stated that the President would open up about his fall out with his deputy stating that many Ruto allies from the region would change their political stand after the Sagana meeting.
"The Deputy President was of the opinion that the President would not be a player in his succession. He assumed that Uhuru would not meet the people to chart the way forward.
"Uhuru's choice to join campaigns is one thing Ruto never anticipated. The mountain (Mt Kenya region) will shift for we will listen to him," Nyeri MP, Ngunjiri Wambugu stated.