Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Leader Raila Odinga has refuted claims that he went looking for the Deputy President William Ruto before the handshake.
During the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) in Mombasa, Mama Ngina Waterfront Park, Odinga stated that he never went to look for the DP as there were only two presidential candidates in the race; him and President Uhuru Kenyatta.
“Look for you as who? There were only two candidates. You were not a candidate. If I was to look for anyone that would be Uhuru. I did not reach for Uhuru. But that is the past,” said Odinga.
Today the people of the Coast spoke, they have made well thought out recommendations based on their aspirations. Shared prosperity, equitable distribution of revenue from natural resources and a more inclusive political system formed part of their proposals. #BBICoastChapter pic.twitter.com/kRalGU80LX
— Raila Odinga (@RailaOdinga) January 25, 2020
This was in response to an interview done by the DP earlier on in the week where he alleged that the former Prime Minister went searching for him for the handshake before meeting President Uhuru.
Ruto had also stated in an April 2019 interview that he turned down Odinga about four times after he tried scheduling meetings with him following the intense 2017 General elections on the grounds that he thought he was not genuine.
“In fact on two occasions, we actually spoke on the phone when he (Odinga) sent some emissary and I could hear the trend, ‘Ooh you know…you can see the president has started appointing ministers.’ You remember when the President appointed the first six ministers and there was a bit of hulabaloo there, I told him my friend you know, initially we were running a coalition, today we have a party, the president is the head of this party he does not have to consult me, ” Ruto was quoted during the interview.
Among the issues discussed and aimed to be solved by the BBI included historical land injustices in the coastal region and unemployment among the youth that has forced the majority to resolve to drugs and crime.
Additionally, the AU High Representative for Infrastructure Development stated that residents would be able to benefit from the port of Mombasa through the BBI.
“We must find a solution so that people can have their title deeds. Land is a factor of production and you need land to create wealth. We cannot be sitting idle looking to our people who are poor and yet there are big tracts of land lying idle,” said Odinga.