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Raila optimistic that State House meeting will yield consensus

Cord leader Raila Odinga hastily left a burial ceremony in Narok on Tuesday afternoon to meet President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House ahead of the Madaraka Day celebrations.

According to Mr Odinga, the meeting is meant to address some of the issues raised by his Cord coalition, top among them is its position on the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, (IEBC).

Cord plans to hold a parallel public meeting to the official celebrations to be presided over by President UIhuru Kenyatta at Nakuru’s Afraha Stadium.

Mr Odinga had just arrived in a chopper for the burial ceremony of Zipporah Lemein, wife of former Narok’s first post-independent Kenya Senator Mr Philiph Lemein, at Lenana area near Narok town when he requested to be excused to attend the State House meeting.

CALL FROM STATE HOUSE

He told mourners he had a received a call from State House to attend a meeting with the President at 2pm.

“I apologise because have to leave immediately…I have received a call from State House to meet the President, which is very good for all of us.

Mr Odinga said he was happy at the President’s invitation, saying Cord has been asking for dialogue on the issues of concern.

“I have told the president several times that let us talk and iron out these very important issues we are raising and I am happy he has agreed and he has invited me to meet him today,” he said.

He called for patience as his team meets the president.

“Wait for my word after the meeting on what we should do,” he told the mourners.

The opposition coalition wants the electoral commissioners kicked out of office ahead of the next general elections. Cord supporters led by their principals have been holding weekly protests in Nairobi over the same.

CONSENSUS

Mr Odinga expressed hope that the meeting would result in a consensus and get the two political sides from the current stalemate over the electoral commission and other issues raised by the opposition coalition.

“If we agree with the President, that will be good for the country. And if we disagree I will inform the nation later today (Tuesday) and we will continue with what we started and fight even harder,” he said.

The Cord leader was accompanied by Suna East MP Junet Mohammed and his Kitutu Masaba counterpart Timothy Bosire.

Mr Junet said the meeting will determine whether Cord will carry on with its planned parallel Madaraka day meeting on Wednesday or not.

In his brief remarks to mourners, the Cord leader had insisted that the electoral commission must leave office arguing that they had lost credibility following their implication in the ‘chicken gate’ scam.

GOOD REPUTE

He said even the IEBC commissioners who were appointed during his time as Prime Minister were of good repute by the time of assuming office.

“I did not know they were bad and could easily be manipulated because they were good at first but they changed later,” he said.

Kama mtoto alikuwa mzuri na akabadilika akawa mtukutu, basi lazima waondoke,” (if the child was intitially good and turns to be a rogue then there is no need of sparing him,” the Cord leader said.