- State House Kenya
Retired President Uhuru Kenyatta called Azimio la Umoja leaders into a meeting shortly after it became apparent that Azimio la Umoja flag bearer Raila Odinga had lost in the August 2022 polls, Jubilee Secretary-General Jeremiah Kioni has divulged.
In an exclusive interview with Kenyans.co.ke on Tuesday, January 24, Kioni revealed that Uhuru made clear his intention to oversee a peaceful handover to President William Ruto despite his firm stance in supporting Raila in the polls.
According to Kioni, the former President had vowed to ensure that the outcome of the much-polarising poll process would not culminate in bloodshed.Jubilee party Secretary-General Jeremiah Kioni during an interview with Kenyans.co.ke on Tuesday, January 24, 2023.Kenyans.co.ke
At a time when the nation was highly anticipative, Kioni revealed that the former President chose to follow the rule of law despite the reservations raised by his coalition against the transparency of the polls.
“Of course, he had his preferred candidate but even when the preferred candidate was not announced by IEBC or the Supreme Court, the first thing he did was to call us and tell us that we will still hand over power," Kioni told Kenyans.co.ke.
“What goes through a mind of a President is unknown to us because we have never been (presidents) but you could imagine because our engagements with him were always that he did not want a single drop of blood because of this election. So whatever it will take, we must do it."
Whilst admitting that the handover did not imply that the opposing faction had accepted defeat, Kioni notes that his party is proud of having led a peaceful transition of power.
He added that the President was aware of plans to ridicule and heckle him at the Kasarani Stadium but still maintained that he would show up to honour his obligation.
"He actually confirmed that he would go to Kasarani. He knew that they would insult him and heckle but he was determined to do the right thing," he stated.
Kioni's revelation came at a time when the position of the former President, who is the current Chairman of the Azimio Coalition, was not clear among Kenyans.
Since his retirement in September 2022, Kenyatta took a backseat in the key matters of the opposing faction and slowed down on commenting about matters of concern to his Azimio Coalition - choosing to concentrate more on his international duties as Kenya's Special Envoy to the East and Central African region.
A section of Azimio had cast their doubts about his role in the election, with some blaming him for the loss in Raila's fifth stab at the presidency.
However, Kioni maintained that he was still an active part of the coalition and was yet to approve Ruto's presidency.
Below is Kenyans.co.ke's interview with Jeremiah Kioni:
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