, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 10 – State House has confirmed that President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga held talks in Kampala this past Sunday.
The President’s Communication Secretary Manoah Esipisu however clarified that the meeting was not planned but coincidental.
“In what was a unique coincidence, President Kenyatta was in Uganda for a summit of countries contributing troops to the African Union Mission in Somalia; Mr Odinga was in Uganda to attend celebrations marking the 20th anniversary of the ascension to power of the Kabaka (King) of the Buganda tribe.”
The two, Esipisu said, discussed matters, “of national interest, including efforts on growing the economy,” when they met.
There has however been speculation that the meeting was arranged by President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda to address the revocation of Odinga’s state privileges.
Members of Odinga’s Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) are said to have approached Museveni in a bid to reach an amicable solution on which privileges Odinga should be permitted to retain as former Prime Minister.
The rumours that Odinga’s place in Kenyatta’s government formed the crux of the discussions were fuelled further by the redeployment of Muthui Kariuki from the now defunct Office of the Government Spokesman just days after their meeting.
Kariuki rubbed Odinga and consequently CORD the wrong way when he demanded Odinga return the government cars that were in his possession and that he cease and desist from using a siren when moving about town.
That was not the first time Odinga and Kariuki went toe to toe with the former spokesman urging CORD, “to carry its own monkey,” on occasions where the opposition blamed the government for its woes.
The reconciliatory stance Odinga has taken toward the government of late, especially as far as his state privileges go, point toward the two having come to some sort of agreement.
When Odinga was confronted by media regarding a government notice requiring him to surrender government vehicles, he simply said, “I’m sure the government knows what its doing.”
A nonchalant statement quite contrary to that given by his coalition partner Kalonzo Musyoka who took offence at the notice saying they had no use for the vehicles.
Musyoka who was Odinga’s running mate in the 2013 Presidential race has of late become the more vocal of the two making it appear that Odinga and Kenyatta have reached some sort of middle ground despite the differences that emanated between them in the race for State House.