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December 18, 2017

I'm ready for dialogue of equals with Uhuru, says Raila

NASA principal Raila Odinga addresses his supporters at Uhuru Park in Nairobi, October 25, 2017. /ENOS TECHE
NASA principal Raila Odinga addresses his supporters at Uhuru Park in Nairobi, October 25, 2017. /ENOS TECHE

Opposition leader Raila Odinga is ready for dialogue with President Uhuru Kenyatta but there is a condition, his adviser Salim Lone has said.

In a statement on Wednesday, Lone noted Raila has always been open to dialogue and even called for this before elections.

Read: Raila: I can talk to Uhuru, but not on power sharing

Also read: Ababu slams US over 'mischievous' calls for Uhuru-Raila dialogue

Disagreements concerning lack of reforms and rigging saw Kenya's election cycle drag on from August 8 to November 28 when Uhuru was sworn-in after October's repeat vote.

"There was no interest in dialogue nor in holding an honest election. He has repeatedly indicated his willingness to enter into dialogue, even now, if it is held between equals as was done in 2008 between a sworn-in President Kibaki and Raila," Lone said.

The adviser said the NASA leader's only condition is for there to be an agreed agenda.

"This should, unlike in 2008, include electoral justice. Raila is holding the country together through his commitment to pursuing constitutional and peaceful means of resolving issues," he said.

He noted "crimes against Kenyans have brought us to this sorry and explosive pass."

The adviser further noted Raila's swearing-in that has been scheduled for December 12, which is Jamhuri day, is legal and will prevent polarisation.

He said the inauguration was in line with the law that it will be done to save Kenya from electoral injustices.

"Raila’s swearing-in will help prevent further polarisation by giving Kenyans hope for electoral justice that was denied them, under a genuinely independent IEBC," he said.

"It will also give new impetus for the People’s Assembly to guide county assemblies in urgently addressing a number of pressing economic and justice issues that will provide material benefits to our people."

NASA earlier wrote to 10 county strongholds asking them for a date for the swearing-in.

Details: NASA asks People's Assembly counties for Raila swearing-in venue

Lone said the President has not taken any action to lower tempratures so the inauguration is their only option.

"Kenya has never been as polarised as it has been the last few months. Not a single action has been taken by Uhuru's regime to lower the temperatures," he said.

"Indeed, even after the Supreme Court validated his October 26 win, and again as he was being sworn-in last week, he unleashed the police, who killed more than two dozen lawful protesters."

Uhuru commended police for doing a good job but rights groups have raised concerns about deaths. Raila claimed 215 people were killed in the election period.

More on this: Uhuru praises police for being 'firm' during election period

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