‘Raila is trying to blackmáil us into talks’ – Gachagua
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua now says opposition leader Raila Odinga is trying to use demonstrations to force his way into government through a "handshake".
Speaking at Kangocho Secondary School in Mathira, Nyeri county, on Wednesday, March 29, the country's second in command maintained that Raila's calls for the reduction of the cost of living were not genuine.
He said the opposition chief was silent when the cost of living soared to an all-time high during retired President Uhuru Kenyatta's regime, where he claims Raila was a stakeholder by the virtue of his March 2018 political truce 'handshake' with the former head of state.
He insisted that the demos were not about the cost of living but selfish interests.
“He is trying to blackmail us into talks but we shall not give in. The cost of food is not the issue…when he was in government (after handshake with former President Uhuru Kenyatta) he did not demonstrate yet the cost of living was at an all-time high,” Gachagua remarked.
He said President William Ruto's Kenya Kwanza administration will not entertain handshake talks.
"He will not enter government through the backdoor.”
At the same time, he urged Kenyans to ignore the opposition's calls for demonstrations and report to work on Thursday.
Gachagua said the government has put in place measures to protect life and property tomorrow and Kenyans should go about their businesses as usual.
"I want to assure the people of Kenya that tomorrow (Thursday) Kenyans should go to work and open their businesses. The government has made elaborate plans and adequate arrangements to protect lives and property," Gachagua said.
"The government has a constitutional mandate to protect the life and property of the rich and the ordinary Kenyans...As you plan your demonstrations tomorrow. As you plan to destroy property know that the government will protect life and property in Nairobi and other towns."