24 June 2018

Kenya: Elders Suspend Rallies to Focus on Building Bridges

Jubilee woes courtesy of 2022 politics and the truce between President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga have scuttled efforts by the Kikuyu Council of Elders (KCE) and their Kalenjin counterparts to conduct joint rallies.

This was after a meeting with Mr Odinga.

The Kikuyu Council of Elders recently dispatched a high level goodwill delegation to pay a courtesy call on Mr Odinga at his Upper Hill offices during which he pledged his unwavering support for the President's war on mega corruption.

KCE Secretary-General Peter Munga said in an interview following the meeting that an initiative launched last May in Eldoret for Kalenjin and Kikuyu Elders to conduct joint peace rallies stood suspended, and that the council was now focused on building bridges under the aegis of the March 9 handshake.

"The Eldoret meeting agenda is now suspended. It is no longer tenable to go round the country talking about one presidential candidate while others are still (waiting) in the wings.

"What criteria does one use to say Musalia Mudavadi or Kalonzo Musyoka should step aside for anyone else?" Rev Munga posed.


KCE chairman, Mr Kiago, said there was an agreement during the meeting with Mr Odinga that constitutional review and a referendum were still legitimate concerns that needed to be discussed.

"Politically, our discussions also dwelt on the need to stop 2022 succession talk which is aimed at pushing President Kenyatta to a lame duck president too early before he delivers what he promised voters in his second term.

"It is wrong to shift attention to 2022 before fulfilling pledges made to voters," he said.


In an open attack on Mr Ruto, Mr Wachira Kiago stated thus on the referendum debate: "This is not a question for one person to say we want or we do not want.

"In any case, the deputy president was the leader of the "No" campaign in 2010, and cannot be seen to oppose legitimate concerns by Kenyans to improve what they perceive as gaps in the Constitution.

"The "No" campaign also received significant number of votes that need to be respected as representing legitimate concerns."

About what direction Central Kenya voters take in 2022, Mr Kiago was philosophical, saying whether central Kenya will have a presidential candidate or not, it will reject intimidation and imposition of leadership.

"The practice of sending emissaries to Central Kenya shows a leader's attitude for the people," he stated.


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