Political maturity: Fierce Kenyan political rivals Uhuru and Raila meet for national unity

Political maturity: Fierce Kenyan political rivals Uhuru and Raila meet for national unity

NAIROBI; KENYA: Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) leaders Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka held a three-hour long face-to-face meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House.

The meeting has been billed as the most significant political development since the inauguration of the fourth President.

On Saturday’s meeting is likely to send a strong signal that will ease political temperatures ahead of the official opening of the 11th Parliament and the Senate.

This is the second time Uhuru and Raila are meeting since the March 4 General Election. The first meeting is reported to have taken place at the Muthaiga home of a city businessman.

The meeting comes at a time President Uhuru and Deputy President William Ruto are crafting a Cabinet that will reflect the face of Kenya.

Personal security

Although other details of the meeting remain scanty, sources close to Uhuru, Raila, Kalonzo and Ruto who also attended, hinted to The Standard On Sunday that discussions revolved around personal security of the CORD leaders and possible settlement of their retirement packages.

The latest development contradicts suggestions and claims that plans were afoot to have some CORD allied MPs and Senators to resign, to accommodate Raila and Kalonzo in either of the two Houses.

The meeting, which took place from 10am at State House, was made public a day after our sister paper, The Standard On Saturday exclusively detailed a series of political overtures and meetings between the two sides. The meeting also came a day ahead of the retreat of CORD elected members, which kick off in Naivasha on Sunday.

Kajiado South MP Joseph Nkaissery, who doubles up as deputy Secretary General of Raila’s Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), seemed to have been in the picture. He hinted to The Standard On Sunday that the CORD principals were “too senior” to return to Parliament.

“They can still play their leadership role from outside, including rejuvenating the Opposition and planning ahead of the next elections. Otherwise, CORD is not short of competent stewards who can head operations from Parliament and Senate,” he said.

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