Speculation over Uhuru, Raila Dubai secret talks


President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga. [File]

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga flew back to the country Tuesday from their trip to China amid reports of their private talks in Dubai.

Uhuru and Raila arrived separately after attending the second Belt and Road forum in Beijing.

Sources said the two had held private meetings in Dubai since Saturday, but details of the same were scanty.

Officials who asked not to be named, said Uhuru and Raila had regular meetings in Dubai since Saturday evening.

“We don’t know what they were discussing, but they met many times,” said an official.

An earlier planned trip to Saudi Arabia by the President was cancelled.

When contacted, according to Standard, Chief of Staff and Head of the President’s Delivery Unit, Nzioka Waita, confirmed the Saudi Arabia State trip did not materialise and will be rescheduled later in the year.

“Half of those the President was going to engage are preparing for Ramadhan. We will, therefore, reschedule the visit,” stated Waita.

The leaders’ reported meetings fueled speculation. Most of their handlers did not attend the meetings at a private hotel in Dubai. 

The ODM leader flew in a commercial airline and was received at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport Tuesday afternoon by Minority Whip Junet Mohamed, Minority Leader Mbadi, MPs Olago Aluoch, and Tom Odege. 

President Kenyatta’s plane departed Dubai airport shortly after 3pm and was expected in the country Tuesday night. 

It is not clear if the President, who had also attended the Belt and Roads Forum, a signature project for Chinese President Xi Jinping, will attend Wednesday’s Labour Day celebrations.

The two were among dozens of leaders who attended the meeting in China and left Beijing on Saturday and landed in Dubai where they have been since then.

Raila had attended the thematic forum on policy connectivity at the opening session in his capacity as the African Union High Representative for Infrastructure Development in Africa. 

They had left the same day after Easter Monday, but in separate flights.

Recently, Uhuru came to the defence of Raila who has been under constant attack by Deputy President William Ruto and his allies who accuse the ODM leader of seeking to use the handshake to wreck Jubilee party.

“Oooh, Raila anavunja (breaking up) Jubilee; which Jubilee have we talked about? Oooh, Uhuru anaingilia mambo ya ODM (Uhuru is interfering in ODM matters); I have no clue even who ODM is,” said Uhuru.

“We have just been talking about issues affecting our people. If its infrastructure, what do we need to do? We discuss and we support each other,” the President said when he officially closed the inaugural AfroChampions Boma forum on African infrastructure financing and delivery at Windsor Hotel two weeks ago.

He added; “We sit; we discuss; we agree. He (Raila) also gives me ideas that enhance something and make it even better. What is wrong with that?”


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