Ruto Gives Raila 2 Conditions Before Resuming Talks

President William Ruto addressing his supporters in Githurai on August 5, 2023.
President William Ruto addressing his supporters in Githurai on August 5, 2023.

President William Ruto has set two non-negotiable conditions for resuming talks with opposition leader Raila Odinga. 

Despite both sides already selecting their negotiation teams, Ruto expressed concerns about Raila's intentions, which might be a major contributing factor as to why the talks have been delayed.

Speaking in Mukurweini, Nyeri County, the Head of State emphasised that he needed assurance that the outcome of the talks would not lead to a scenario where he would be compelled to share power with his political nemesis.

During the launch of the Ichamara-Rutune Road, Ruto expressed relief at Raila's recent declaration that he does not seek a share of the government. 

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and President William Ruto.
President William Ruto (left) and Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga (right) at separate events.

Ruto explained that one of the prerequisites for letting his team, led by Kikuyu Member of Parliament Kimani Ichungw’ah, engage in negotiations with the opposition was a particular condition that had to be met. 

He expressed discomfort with the constant threats from the opposition to call for demonstrations, which he sees as a potential threat to public safety and property. 

Ruto made it clear that talks will only resume if Raila unconditionally stops calling for nationwide protests. 

He expressed the firm belief that discussions would not be fruitful if the opposition persisted in leading protests that could result in the loss of lives and destruction of property.

Should Raila agree on the two demands, Ruto promised, he would have a sit-down with the former prime minister to discuss issues raised by the opposition which include reconstitution of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries (IEBC) Selection Panel.

Raila on his part has refused to back down from staging nationwide protests. Last week, he threatened should Ruto not demonstrate seriousness in the talks, he will call for demonstrations in 30 days.

While the possibility of demos remains on the table, Raila has reiterated that he is not seeking to share power with Ruto.

Ruto's demands were made a few hours after Vihiga Senator Godfrey Osotsi faulted the President for adopting different stances on the mediation talks in public and in private.

The Azimio legislator revealed that Ruto had made two desperate attempts to reconcile with Raila by enlisting the help of Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu and former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Raila addressing part of the demonstrators on Monday, March 20, 2023.