Raila, Gachagua reject call by clergy for a dialogue

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has dismissed the call by religious leaders for a dialogue between President William Ruto and opposition leader Raila Odinga.

Speaking on Thursday, Gachagua said Raila is blackmailing the government into a negotiation. 

“Don’t request us to sanction blackmail and impunity. Because what Raila is doing is blackmailing us into talks. How can you ask us to fall into the trap of blackmail, threats and intimidation?” he asked. 

He added that the Kenya Kwanza party would not participate in any discussions aimed at dividing the government. 

“This discussion of dividing the government by half is not possible. It cannot happen, it will not happen,” he said. 

Gachagua further revealed that the party would only engage in talks with retired President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga regarding the return of funds stashed he alleged were hidden in the Cayman Islands. 

On his part, Raila reiterated that the opposition will not engage in a handshake with the government.

“Kenya Kwanza has continued to claim that all we are looking for is a handshake. We emphatically refute this unfounded rumour. This is an insult to the intelligence of Kenyans. We will not participate in a handshake with an illegitimate regime,” he said.

The Kenya conference of catholic bishops (KCCB) on Wednesday called for Raila and Ruto to engage in dialogue to end the ongoing political crisis in the country.

The bishops noted that Kenyans were facing numerous challenges and that the leaders’ blame game could only worsen the situation. 

“There cannot be a good reason to resort to the standoff and defiance of our leaders to the detriment of Kenyans,” said KCCB chairperson Martin Kivuva. 

The group acknowledged that Kenyans were grappling with the high cost of living and expressed their willingness to mediate to ensure a common ground is reached. 

Archbishop Anthony Muheria further stated that the nation is in a “difficult situation” and concerted efforts are needed to fix it. He cited banditry, corruption, and impunity as some of the challenges. 

However, the KCCB dismissed Azimio’s call for President Ruto to resign, terming it a dangerous proposition that goes against the constitution and rule of law. 

“It goes against the fact that Kenya is a country governed by the Constitution. We went to vote, and the results were contested, and the Supreme Court made its determination…we must, therefore, respect the rule of law,” Kivuva said.

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