Ruto and Raila Ready to Dialogue for The Good of Kenya. Great News for The Country.

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This shocked everybody. Raila Odinga and the Azimio leaders have announced they are suspending the Maandmano demonstrations after President Ruto invited them to have meetings to sort out the problems the country faces today. Azimio has decided to stop the rallies going on in the country.

The rally on Monday was already looking very scary with all sorts of threats from the like of DP Rigathi Gachagua. Now William Ruto has shown Kenyans that he actually runs the country and is willing to talk to the opposition and find solutions that hopefully will be good for all Kenyans.

“We agree that a balanced parliamentary process co-chaired by both sides and backed by experts from outside should proceed. In our view, this committee should be composed with immediate effect with strict deadlines for resolving the crisis facing the country,” said Mr. Odinga.

“In view of the foregoing, we stand down our demonstrations for Monday but in doing so we want to emphasise that we reserve the right to call for demonstrations should this process bear no fruit. Should there be no meaningful engagement or response from Hon Ruto to our counter-offer, we’ll resolve to resume our demonstrations after one week.”

Raila calls off mass protests after Ruto’s appeal

President William Ruto addressed the nation and urged Raila to call off the demonstrations to give room for talks.

In a rejoinder, Raila who addressed the nation from his Capital office on Sunda termed Ruto’s statement as ‘important” and a “positive” development.

“We acknowledge Mr Ruto’s olive branch for a dialogue on key issues raised by Azimio La Umoja. To us, this is a positive development.” Raila said.

“I believe that Kenya is today facing its worst crisis in decades out of which we could recover or go the way of other failed states.

Raila said they have decided to call off protests for Monday and Thursday this week to give room for Ruto’s kind gesture and allow dialogue on issues raised.

“Our position is that we want to engage our brothers and sisters on the other side on issues that are important to Kenyans, them as an opposition, us as a government,” he said.

He, however, maintained that the talks must be based on sincere deliberations anchored on the rule of law.

“My door still remains open for honest, objective and sincere deliberations based on the rule of law and the Constitution,”  he said.

He suggested a bi-partisan engagement in Parliament on the reconstitution of the IEBC panel within the parameters of the law and the Constitution.

Raila Calls Off Anti-Government Protests.

Raila calls off anti-government protests, but with a caveat

Opposition leader Raila Odinga on Sunday evening called off the bi-weekly anti-government  protests which were set to enter the fourth day on Monday.

The Azimio La Umoja One Kenya coalition leader made the announcement in a press address at his Capitol Hill office in Nairobi.

It came  just hours after President William Ruto’s address in which he called on the opposition leader to do so and give way for a bipartisan parliamentary process in the recruitment of commissioners to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), which is one of the issues the opposition had raised with President Ruto’s administration. 

Odinga said the Azimio camp is ready for dialogue that will address the key issues they have raised.

According to the opposition leader, the decision to call off the protests came after wide consultations, including with religious leaders, among others. 

“William Ruto has issued what I regard as an important statement, we have met and listened to a lot of people, including religious leaders, they have implored us to give dialogue a chance,” he said.

“We acknowledge the olive branch on dialogue,  this is a positive development.  We agree to a balanced parliamentary proceed co-chaired by both sides, this committee must be done immediately, including all arrests and prosecution related to demos.” 

Now here is the big issue we all have to address. These talks should not be about what Raila or Ruto wants. The talks have to be about what Kenyans need to live and what is good for our country full stop.

The cost of living is number one on the list. What can the Kenya government do about it now? We have Unga prices, fuel prices, fertilizers, etc. What can be done about that right now? As a farmer in Kenya, I was talking to my sister in Kenya today. She is a farmer and a businesswoman at the town market. She was on her farm all day and sometimes her cell phone was off.

Then she told me she has two weeks to plant everything before the rains die out. My sister knows everything about fertilizers and seeds and she tells me that is the biggest thing about farming.

Can Ruto with his UDA government come to a clear agreement with Raila and the Azimio team on what should be done about reducing the cost of living and dealing with practical issues on how to help Kenyans produce food in their own lands?

Address the CAS abuse by Ruto appointing 5O CAS illegally and now his cabinet putting those people to work even after the courts have ruled the appointments are on hold until a final court ruling is made. Ruto and the Raila Azimio team should agree to suspend those appointments until after the court decision is made.

In fact, it would be better if Ruto walked out of those appointments altogether and proceed to re-advertise the positions for 23 CAS appointments as provided for under the laws of our country.

Can Ruto and Raila publicly declare that at no time whatsoever will media professionals doing their work be brutalized by the agents of the government of Kenya? And if that ever happens, the criminal attackers on the media workers will be held accountable and face charges in court otherwise the ICC will be called upon to deal with that if the state cannot protect Kenyan journalists.

Come to an agreement that Kenya has no tribal shareholders. Who any Kenyan votes for or doesn’t vote for does not determine their Kenyanness. Once Kenyan, always Kenyan regardless of who you vote for. That is a kind of common sense which is not that common to some of Ruto’s big names in government.

Look for a way forward for the governance that is good for the country not what is good for individual politicians. What can possibly be wrong with that?

On top of all that both parties must establish the grounds for good and just governance for our country. We only have one country fellas. It is called Kenya. We have nothing else without that country. Thank you very much. From the bottom of all our hearts as Kenyans.

There are issues on electoral reforms and how the IEBC is constituted without political interference. Those have to be dealt with in this dialogue of both parties.

There are issues with proposed changes to the privatization of parastatals starting with Sugar Companies like Mumias and Tans Nzoia Sugar Companies. The move by the Ruto government to deny parliament any responsibility in such privatizations and leave it all to the Treasury has to be on the table.

This guy must be dancing in heaven.

It would be more valuable to Kenyans if the negotiations between President Ruto and Raila with the Azimio team is focused on real issues that affect the lives of Kenyans in daily life. It is a good start for the country. Where we go from there is the main issue.

Adongo Ogony is a Kenyan Human Rights Activist and Writer who lives in Toronto, Canada

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