Kenya’s main opposition Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) has described embattled President Mwai Kibaki as a fraud who the party claims is not interested in solving the political crisis in the country. The accusation followed the first face-to-face meeting between President Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga. President Kibaki reportedly said during the meeting that he won the disputed December presidential election. But the opposition accused Kibaki of hijacking the meeting and wasting the mediators’ time.
The meeting, which was orchestrated by former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan aims to resolve the ongoing post-election violence blamed for the loss of lives and property. William Ruto is a leading member of the ODM who was at the meeting. He tells reporter Peter Clottey from the capital, Nairobi that Kibaki’s move is distasteful.
“Kofi Annan who is the team leader of the African Union appointed mediation team, did request Honorable Raila Odinga for a one-on-one session with Mr. Mwai Kibaki. Honorable Raila being committed to finding a just and peaceful solution to the crisis our country faces obliged. I accompanied him to the place where the meeting took place. Unfortunately, to our dismay, Mai Kibaki really abused the occasion by fraudulently trying to use the occasion to perpetuate his fraud on the people of Kenya,” Ruto noted.
He said President Kibaki was not a statesman during the meeting, which he claimed was in bad taste.
“While Honorable Raila went there genuinely and in good faith to try and find a lasting solution to the problem in our country, Mwai Kibaki used the occasion to talk about being duly elected and things like those,” he said.
Ruto described Kibaki’s claim as not only shameful but also detrimental to the ongoing peace talks, which is mediated by the former UN secretary general Kofi Annan.
“We have issued a statement as a party that we reject the statement of Mwai Kibaki about him being elected president because he knows the primary reason why Kofi Annan and the AU team are in Kenya is because of a stolen election. And he knows the presidency in this country is in contest. It is unfortunate that this mediation started off on a bad note,” Ruto said.
He said the opposition protested Kibaki’s action at the meeting to the former UN Secretary General.
“We have since met Kofi Annan this evening and we have expressed our dissatisfaction with the statement made by Mr. Mwai Kibaki. And they too agree with us that, that was a statement in bad faith and it was meant actually to scuttle this effort to return Kenya to normalcy and to solve the crisis that is there. It just shows Mwai Kibaki in his true colors, a fraudulent man,” he maintained.
Ruto said the opposition presented three demands to the former UN Secretary General during the first face-to-face meeting.
“We have presented three scenarios actually. One is that Mwai Kibaki lost the election and every indication supports that particular position. And therefore, if Mwai Kibaki was a reasonable person, he should have packed his bags and gone home and Raila Odinga should have been sworn in as president. Position number two, if Mwai Kibaki is in doubt that he did not lose the election we have invited him for a re-run. And now that he has Kalonzo Musyoka on his side who was candidate number three, he shouldn’t have a problem winning, if at all he won the last election. Lastly, we have told him we are prepared to sit on equal terms and negotiate how we are going to look at the options available to us. And see who would run the government because we believe in ODM we have the numbers in parliament to run government,” Ruto pointed out.