Secrets of Raila meeting with Ruto-What Raila promised

Prime Minister Raila Odinga promised to make Eldoret North MP William Ruto his running mate and give his party half of the slots in a coalition government if they win the next elections during their Tuesday night meeting in Nairobi.

The PM is also said to have offered to serve for a single term and support Mr Ruto for the presidency in 2017 as part of a pre-election deal.

The meeting was held at the home of businessman Joshua Kulei, who has been leading efforts to reunite the pair following a bitter falling out that saw the Eldoret North MP quit ODM in 2010 to found the United Republican Party (URP) this year.

Mr Kulei, a powerful Moi-era presidential aide, was reportedly at the centre of the behind-the-scenes negotiations that led to Mr Odinga and Mr Ruto working together in the Orange party during the 2007 election.

Mr Odinga is said to have been driven to the meeting by East African Community minister Musa Sirma, while Mr Ruto was escorted by Belgut MP Charles Keter.

The former allies-turned-rivals also discussed the trials at the International Criminal Court (ICC) of Mr Ruto, TNA leader Uhuru Kenyatta, former Civil Service boss Francis Muthaura and radio presenter Joshua arap Sang for alleged crimes against humanity during the election violence in 2007 and 2008.

“Mr Odinga is said to have given the assurance that it [ICC trials] would be his burden too and that he would handle it. It was an ice-breaking meeting really. After dinner the offer was given but there was no commitment,” said an aide to one of the two leaders who could not be named for fear of betraying the trust of his boss.

Mr Ruto is said to have promised to consider the offer and the leaders parted with a promise to hold further meetings.

The Saturday Nation has also learnt that Mr Ruto may have decided to meet Mr Odinga after failing to secure a pre-election pact with Mr Kenyatta.

An MP close to the two leaders said matters were complicated by the push by senior people from Mt Kenya to have Mr Kenyatta be Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi’s running mate.
This would in effect lock out Mr Ruto from the political high table.

Return favour

“Uhuru told Ruto ‘I can support you with all my family, but I cannot assure you that my people would support you’. It was then that Mr Ruto told Mr Kenyatta of his decision to see Mr Odinga,” said the MP, who declined to be named.

Earlier on Tuesday, Mr Ruto told the Kalenjin vernacular radio station, Chamgei FM, that he could consider working with Mr Odinga if the Prime Minister gave URP 60 per cent of seats in government.

It is understood that Mr Ruto went on air to prepare his supporters for his new election strategy.

“When you see me talking with others you should not panic. I know what I am doing… If Mr Odinga wants to work with me he should be able to give URP 60 per cent of the positions in the government. And if Uhuru wants to work with us he should give URP 50 per cent of the positions,” said the source.

The URP loss in Market Ward in Mr Ruto’s own constituency in the recent by-elections  is also said to have strained relations between Mr Ruto and Mr Kenyatta.

Turkana Central MP Ekwee Ethuro hinted that his party was uncomfortable with the failure by TNA to withdraw their candidate in the ward despite URP  not fielding a candidate in Kajiado North.

“We thought they would return the gesture. But whether Ruto and Raila met or not is immaterial. There is nothing in the works. Wait until it is there then I can comment,” he said from Kilifi where the URP team had taken their campaigns.








Comment on the article

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.