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Raila Odinga’s Insiders Demand Direct Talks with President Ruto as Fresh Negotiations Begin

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As the opposition outfit Azimio prepares for fresh talks with the Kenya Kwanza side, insiders close to Azimio leader Raila Odinga in Nyanza have made specific demands to ensure fruitful negotiations.

The two sides recently agreed to resume talks, forming a ten-member committee led by former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo to facilitate bipartisan dialogue.

Raila’s allies insist that for the talks to be effective, Raila should engage President Ruto directly without a mediator.

They believe that direct one-on-one conversations between the leaders will be more trusted and lead to better solutions for the nation.

Alego-Usonga MP Samuel Atandi expressed this sentiment, emphasizing the importance of the two leaders engaging directly to address the issues facing the country.

Meanwhile, Siaya Governor James Orengo shared a different opinion, stating that the talks should only proceed if the government suspends the implementation of the contentious Finance Act 2023 or repeals it.

He believes that resolving this matter is crucial before any negotiations can take place.

However, Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wah and Minority counterpart Opiyo Wandayi argued that the Finance Act is currently sub judice and cannot be discussed outside of court.

Furthermore, Orengo and Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo demanded some form of compensation to the families of protesters who lost their lives during mass demonstrations before the talks can start.

This request highlights the sensitivity of the past protests and the need for acknowledgment and justice for the affected families.

The joint statement released by Azimio and Kenya Kwanza indicated that the contentious Finance Act 2023 will not be a topic of discussion during the talks.

However, these demands and differing opinions from various stakeholders underline the complexity and importance of the upcoming negotiations in seeking a democratic and peaceful resolution to the issues affecting Kenya.

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