President William Ruto and opposition leader Raila Odinga on Sunday, April 2, agreed to hold bipartisan talks through Parliament to resolve issues raised through weekly protests that have turned violent.
Addressing the nation, the president said he was ready to engage with the opposition on how to reconstitute and appoint new members of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
It was widely reported that the two political rivals met at a private meeting where the deal to hold bipartisan talks was reached.
According to government insiders, the two traveled out of the country’s capital city Nairobi and secretly met in a hotel inside the Maasai Mara game park.
During the talks, only Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki, Narc Kenya Party leader Martha Karua and her Wiper counterpart Kalonzo Musyoka were aware of the deal.
However, Kikuyu Member of Parliament Kimani Ichungwah has dismissed sections of media reports that the Head of State secretly met with the opposition leader.
In an interview with the media on Monday, April 3, Ichungwah who is also the National Assembly Majority leader said the two political antagonists had not met face-to-face.
Ichungah, a close ally of the First in command further said that the president did not even make a call to opposition leader Raila Odinga prior to the agreement.
“I can confirm the President has not even met with Raila Odinga. He hasn’t even spoken to Raila Odinga, leave them alone meeting. Therefore, there is nothing touching on a handshake,” Ichungwah said.
He also maintained that the agreement for a bi-partisan approach was not similar to the 2018 handshake between Raila and Rtd. President Uhuru Kenyatta.
“It has nothing to deal with a handshake. I see there are some quarters that are very excited that there is a handshake. I can confirm to you there is no handshake,” Ichugwah said.