No 'handshake' with Raila, President Ruto insists

Ruto: There will be no handshake with Raila

President William Ruto has again insisted that there will be no Handshake between him and Azimio leader Raila Odinga.

Addressing a press conference in Kigali, Rwanda on Tuesday, the head of state said that the recent approach from his government to allow the Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Coalition to table their issues with them is not a way of bringing onboard the opposition team.

While responding to the question from one of the journalists during a joint press address with his host President Paul Kagame, the President said: “I want to tell you there will be no handshake, but there will be an engagement in Parliament on the issues that have been raised. Those that the Parliament can resolve, they will be resolved.”

The president said his only mission was to ensure that the country’s democracy is not undermined.

“We have a government and opposition. We don't want democracy to be undermined. Kenyans want a democracy where the system of checks and balances works," President Ruto said.

The concept of a handshake in Kenya refers to a truce between retired President Uhuru Kenyatta and his then-political nemesis, Mr Odinga, which was sealed in a handshake on March 2018.

“Unfortunately, for us in Kenya, a handshake has a different connotation, and that is what I’m talking about. The handshake that brings the opposition and government into some conundrum, and a mongrel and an outfit that is undemocratic, unconstitutional and illegal,” said Dr Ruto.

He noted that Kenya was a democratic nation, where checks and balances are underpinned with the opposition side playing its role of keeping the government on its toes.

There wasn’t any accountability

“The history we have of a handshake is where there was a fusion of government and the opposition and the results were disastrous. There wasn’t any accountability, the whole system went rogue, and the people of Kenya do not want a situation where democracy is undermined,” he added.

Also, the president said that the opposition side declared their parallel results of the presidential election which they are yet to reveal the origin, other than saying that they were given to them by a whistleblower.

“Subsequently, somehow the opposition, after five months, decided to make a claim that they were told by the whistleblower that the results were possibly different. They haven’t been good enough to tell us who the whistleblower is and how they arrived at a different set of results than one that was released by our Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission,” added the head of state.