, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 20- The Office of the Prime Minister Raila Odinga now says there is no scheduled meeting between the Premier and President Mwai Kibaki this Sunday as they had initially indicated.
The Premier’s advisor Salim Lone on Saturday said that the meeting would take place early next week. He said it could be Monday or Tuesday.
Mr Lone had earlier emphatically announced the Sunday meeting. He had claimed that the meeting was planned by the two Principals when they spoke on phone last Wednesday.
Earlier reports by Capital News indicated that State House had not scheduled any meeting between the two principals as claimed by the PM’s office.
Reliable sources said that the Head of State had other prior engagements and that if any talks were to take place, it would be in their formal routine meeting usually held on Wednesdays.
The Prime Minister arrives in the country on Sunday from Japan, where he had a series of meetings with Japanese delegates. He left the country on last Sunday as the spat between himself and the President degenerated into a war of words between their lieutenants.
State House has severally taken issue with an apparent move by the PM’s Office to control the President’s diary with the last occurrence happening last month when the PM said the President would attend the hyped tree planting ceremony in Mau forest only for State House to issue a denial.
The mud slinging between the two leaders started last Sunday when the PM told reporters that he and the President had consulted and agreed to suspend Agriculture Minister William Ruto and Education Minister Sam Ongeri only for the Head of State to refute the said consultations.
In a statement sent to newsrooms by the Presidential Press Services (PPS) barely hours after Mr Odinga made the announcement, the President stated that no consultations took place between him and the Premiere on the matter.
It has since been a war of words between Mr Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement and Mr Kibaki’s Party of National Unity with some Members of Parliament even going to the extent of calling for elections despite the fact that the country does not having a voters’ register.
Members of ODM insist that the Prime Minister has the power to ask Mr Ruto and Mr Ongeri to step down and create room for investigations while those allied to the President dismiss Mr Odinga’s move. The ODM then invited mediator Koffi Annan’s intervention in the matter while President Kibaki on Thursday declared there was no crisis in Kenya.
Mr Annan together with various sections of the Kenyan public among them lobby groups and churches asking the leaders to resolve whatever differences exist.