NAIROBI, Kenya Mar 25 – Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria has ruled out any possibility of President William Ruto engaging Opposition leader Raila Odinga in talks.
In a terse statement during an interview on BBC’s Focus on Africa, Kuria said the government will instead employ new tactics in resolving the political crisis in Kenya, largely borrowing from neighbouring countries.
“I can assure you that what is happening in Kenya has nothing to do with the high cost of living. It is nothing but economic terrorism,” he told the programm host Peter, explaining that Kenya has “had it for too long”.
“He (Raila) had it with Kibaki, he had it with Uhuru, it won’t happen again. Take it from me. Then there is not going to be any dividends for democracy,” he said.
Odinga has launched demonstrations since last week to force the government to tackle the high cost of living and protest the presidential victory he claims was stolen from during the August 2022 polls won by President William Ruto.
Asked if President Ruto is willing to engage Odinga in talks, Kuria said, “Talk about what? He is a member of a party, he is the leader of the Opposition, he’s got members in parliament, he’s got a sizeable number in that parliament. We have almost half of the Members in Parliament, he can be able to make his case within that Parliament. This rewarding him for undermining institutions, undermining democracy, losing elections all the time and coming out to say talk to me. About what! We had a very transparent election, we went all the way to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court pronounced itself.”
Kuria said that “it means that we gonna deal with him the way Kagame deals with his opponents, the way Museveni deals with his opponents, there is no other way.”
And when asked by the programme host on how the two presidents deal with their opponents, he said, “Safeguarding democracy and the sovereignty of the people. Whatever it takes.”
At the weekend, the president appealed to Odinga to call the mass protests because they were disrupting the economy.
“I suffered so much because of him (Odinga). I am appealing to Odinga while here in Nyanza. Please tone down. I supported you, I voted for you to the point I was taken to the Hague. Now it’s your time to return the favor,” Ruto said amidst applause from the crowd,” he said.
Ruto said that instead of organizing mass protests against his administration, Odinga should instead plan to vote him in for the second term in 2027 to ‘’even things out.”
The president has equally made it clear that elections are over and that he is not willing to engage Odinga who insists that his vote was stolen.
“Kenyans made their decision during the August 2022 polls, we are done with the polls and all that remains is prepare for development,” he said.