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January 20, 2019

Raila slams Ruto over remark during Uhuru Nyanza tour

Nyanza leaders led by ODM chief Raila Odinga in Rangwe constituency on Saturday, December 15, 2018. /ROBERT OMOLLO
Nyanza leaders led by ODM chief Raila Odinga in Rangwe constituency on Saturday, December 15, 2018. /ROBERT OMOLLO

ODM leader Raila Odinga has slammed Deputy President William Ruto over his 'kati kati (in the middle)' remarks during President Uhuru Kenyatta's visit to Nyanza.

"It's foolishness for one to say that he stands between me and President Kenyatta in the handshake. We want people to avoid politics out of the handshake," Raila said on Saturday.

He spoke during a thanksgiving ceremony for Rangwe MP Lillian Gogo at Omoche Secondary School.

Raila said Ruto's remarks were aimed at pushing Ruto's 2022 political agenda, which is not part of the handshake agreement.

Raila said it is a bad show for leaders to meddle in what he and President Kenyatta agreed on to bring peace and a lasting political solution to the country.

He said the handshake truce was not meant for individual gain, but all Kenyans.

"The warm welcome you gave President Kenyatta and his delegation is a clear indication that the handshake is bearing the fruit of unity. You made us proud," Raila said.

Present were senators James Orengo (Siaya), Moses Kajwang' (Homa Bay), Siaya Governor Cornel Rasanga, Homa Bay DG Hamilton Orata, MPs Oburu Oginga (EALA), Gladys Wanga(Homa Bay), Godfrey Osotsi (nominated), Adipo Okuome (Karachuonyo),Samuel Atandi (Alego Usonga), Ongondo Were (Kasipul), Anthony Oluoch(Mathare) among others.

On Thursday in Kisumu, Ruto said: "President Kenyatta akiwa pande hii, Baba (Raila) akiwa pande hii, basi mjue mimi niko kati kati (If President Kenyatta is on this side and Raila on the other, you should know I'm in the middle)."

But on Saturday, Oginga said the remarks did not go down well with Nyanza residents.

Oburu claimed Ruto was not sincere in his support of the handshake.

He told DP to state his position over the truce.

"DP Ruto should not pretend to support the agreement because when he in his touring outside Nyanza, he criticises it," Oburu said.

Orengo and Kajwang' claimed handshake detractors are behind propaganda that some leaders from Nyanza were left out during the two-day tour by President Kenyatta in the region.

"We understand the propaganda they're trying to bring forth. But we're telling the President and Raila that many Kenyans support their cause," Orengo said.

Wanga and Gogo said the handshake is the best deal from Kenyan leaders to ensure the country realises development.

"Since the handshake deal, we've seen a number of development programmes being rolled out across the country regardless of political affiliation," Wanga said.

Read: Uhuru's historic tour starts

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