The UK High Commissioner to Kenya, Nic Hailey, has joined fellow Western envoys along with business and religious leaders Friday as they met with National Super Alliance (Nasa) leader Raila Odinga in last-ditch efforts to avert the political stand-off sparked by his decision to be sworn in as president on Jamhuri Day next week.
On Thursday, Attorney-General Githu Muigai warned that any attempt to swear in Mr Odinga would amount to treason, while in Nakuru, ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi said that while he does not recognise the Jubilee government, his party would pursue repeat elections and electoral reforms, adding that the party was ready for dialogue. Devolution Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri has said the opposition leader Raila Odinga should be put under house arrest if he continues with for his swearing in ceremony plans.
Yesterday’s delegation, led by US Ambassador to Kenya Robert ‘Bob’ Godec and including German Ambassador Jutta Frasch, told the Nasa leaders that the international community is ready to help resolve outstanding issues.
Religious & business leaders & diplomats met NASA leaders today. Urge government, opposition & all Kenyans to engage in open, transparent national conversation to address underlying issues & strengthen institutions to help Kenya. Stressed need to uphold Constitution. pic.twitter.com/Sa9A8BiCgH
— Nic Hailey (@HCNicHailey) December 8, 2017
Posting to his Facebook page, Mr Odinga said he was “Putting forward our position as a Coalition to members of the diplomatic community, private sector and religious leaders in our quest for electoral justice.”
“We maintain that the will of the people is paramount,” he added.
In a statement, Mr Odinga’s personal secretary Dennis Onyango said Nasa leaders expressed a commitment and openness to dialogue on specific areas of security reforms, securing and strengthening the Judiciary, devolution and governance.
“The meeting also reviewed activities planned for December 12 and agreed on the need to act strictly in accordance with the Constitution,” the statement said.
The Nasa leaders’ meeting with the envoys took pace as Mr Odinga’s team were unveiling the programme for Tuesday’s meeting of the Opposition under the banner of the People’s Assembly will also announce their objective of fresh elections by June 2018 or secession.
However, they have not revealed where the event will be held and whether Mr Odinga would be sworn-in and what would follow.
Mr Odinga has also faced calls to cancel his Tuesday meeting by trade unions boss Francis Atwoli who has warned that such a move would increase political uncertainty and ruin the economy.
“We may not have a country beyond December 12 if the swearing goes on. The way forward is dialogue between the two leaders. The moment you journalists write about Uhuru meeting Raila, I am telling you the Kenyan shilling will appreciate.” – Francis Atwoli
Mr Atwoli has also said that at least 100,000 jobs have been lost since August as investors have avoided Kenya.