- Odinga has come out to reveal that Ruto, indeed, called to “greet” him.
- The Azimio leader however noted that the meeting they planned to hold has never happened, neither have they spoken since.
Azimio La Umoja One Kenya coalition party leader Raila Odinga has for the first time spoken about his phone call with United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party leader William Ruto before the latter was announced as the president-elect.
Shortly after Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commision (IEBC) Chairperson Wafula Chebukati declared him winner of the presidential race on August 15, Ruto intimated that he had spoken with his main rival Odinga on the way forward after the polls.
“This morning I called my competitor, Hon Raila Odinga, and I had a discussion with him and we agreed that whatever the outcome of this election, we should have a conversation,” Ruto told journalists at the time.
He added: “He (Raila) had offered in his statement in Kasarani that he would be available for a handshake and I said that I will be available for us to have a cup of tea because there are areas we can agree on moving the country forward.”
Odinga has come out to reveal that Ruto, indeed, called to “greet” him, and that they agreed to meet up after the announcement and have a conversation.
“He called me before the results were announced and just greeted me and we said to ourselves at that time, because we didn’t know what was going to come out, that we would meet and talk,” he said in an interview on BBC’s Focus on Africa program which aired on Monday.
The Azimio leader however noted that the meeting has never happened, neither have they spoken since, because he believes Ruto was not rightfully declared president-elect.
“We’ve not met, neither have we talked since that time because I don’t ebelieve that he is the president-elect. I think that I should be the president-elect. And he knows it, deep in his heart that he did not win these elections, but a beneficiary of electoral fraud,” he said.
Chebukati declared Ruto as the winner of the presidential election after garnering 7,176,141 votes, representing 50.49 per cent of the total votes cast. Odinga came in second with 6,942,930 votes, which represents 48.85 per cent of the votes cast.
Odinga however rejected the results as “null and void” and went ahead to file a petition at the Supreme Court.
The former Prime Minister has at the same time opened up about his current state of affairs with President Uhuru Kenyatta, who had thrown his weight behind him as his preferred successor.
He noted that he had not spoken to the Head of State about his move to challenge the presidential results in court.
Raila said: “I have not talked to the president about this matter, he is outgoing and he is basically handling his transition. He has said that he wants to be impartial so that the process is done in a free and fair manner.”
All eyes are now on the Supreme Court as it hears and determines the presidential petition. The verdict will be issued on or before September 5.