- President William Ruto has found himself between a rock and a hard place in dealing with Azimio leader Raila Odinga.
- Ruto, who narrowly won last year's presidential poll against Raila, is facing political resistance from the Odinga-led opposition.
President William Ruto has found himself between a rock and a hard place in dealing with Azimio leader Raila Odinga.
Ruto, who narrowly won last year's presidential poll against Raila, is facing political resistance from the Odinga-led opposition.
Analysts have warned that the country's future stability or lack of depends on how Ruto navigates the raging political standoff with the opposition.
On one hand, Raila is digging in with his camp maintaining that they will not relent or surrender until President Ruto accedes to their raft of demands.
There are indications that despite his tough talk, Ruto is cautious about his actions against Raila for the sake of the stability and peace of the country.
Raila enjoys significant support among Kenyans while his call for mass action is also gaining traction among Kenyans reeling from the high cost of living.
On the bare minimum, they want Ruto to open the servers to reveal the 'truth' about the last year's presidential election, halt the recruitment of electoral commissioners and lower the cost of living.
On the other hand, Ruto's camp has maintained that they will not open any talks with Raila outside established institutions because they hold that the Azimio boss is looking for a share of government.
They want Raila to first acknowledge that Ruto is the legitimately elected President of Kenya, suspend his mass action and then engage the government through parliament.
Ruto has insisted that any talks outside of Parliament would be akin to the so-called handshake truce between Raila and retired President Uhuru Kenya and which they accuse of plundering public resources.
Raila and Ruto have now taken their battle to the world powers with the government pushing for tough sanctions against opposition leaders over destabilising the country and economic sabotage.
They have separately written to the international community defending their positions even as the government looks cornered by the opposition.
On Thursday, Kimilili MP Didmas Barasa said Raila should forget any discussions in the form of a roundtable discussion for a handshake.
"We have made it very clear that Raila is after a share of government, we won't allow that at the expense of millions of Kenyans," Barasa, an ally of Ruto said.
The MP accused Raila of being part of the mess that he said was engineered during the Uhuru era, saying Ruto will instead clean up the consequences than satisfy the interests of one person.
Raila has escalated his resistance against Ruto, calling him an illegitimate president and called for countrywide protests every Monday and Thursday.
Suna East MP Junet Mohammed, a key ally of Raila, revealed that Azimio is ready to call off the protests if Ruto meets their conditions.
"If he wants us to call off the demonstrations, let him announce that the price of Unga is Sh70, halt the recruitment of IEBC commissioners and open the servers," Junet said.
However, Ruto's camp says that Raila is being bankrolled to destabilise the country so as to intimidate the government from pursuing taxpayers' money that was allegedly plundered during the handshake era.
National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichung'wa accused Uhuru of working with Raila to destabilise the Kenya Kwanza administration.
He has suggested that the government should crack the whip and arrest both Raila and Uhuru.
"When President William Ruto said everyone is under the law, Odinga and Kenyatta are no exception. They must submit themselves to the whims of our constitution and law,” said Ichung’wa.
However, Raila's allies have warned Kenya Kwanza against attempts to arrest the ODM leader saying that would be too costly for the country's stability.
Alego Usonga MP Samuel Atandi alleged that there is a plan to detain Raila in the wake of the huge acceptability of his protests among Kenyans.
"Plans to arrest Raila Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta are in top gear. State House has decided to take the risk because only Luos will demonstrate for a few days and thereafter life goes on," he claimed.
The MP noted that if the government follows that route then the country will burn.
The political analyst warned against arresting and charging Raila saying that will send the country to the dogs.
"Raila is a Kenyan citizen and he can be arrested. The President might want to take that risk, but is it worth it? It would be chaotic and we would easily lose our country," he said.