Who Invited Raila Odinga To The Climate Change Conference At KICC?

Nothing happens by accident in diplomatic circles especially when it comes to government officials adhering to official programs at major functions similar to the ongoing Africa Climate Summit at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC). Events are carefully written, planned, and carried out to accomplish specific objectives. 

Many people never expected Azimio leader Raila Odinga to attend the Climate Summit at KICC, so it came as a surprise to many when he arrived and was welcomed by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua. According to sources, Raila Odinga was invited by President William Ruto himself, who made sure he received all the protocols similar to those accorded to the visiting Head of State and governments. 

What exactly was President Ruto trying to accomplish when his administration accorded Raila Odinga the respect only reserved for the VVIP? President Ruto is aware that Mr Odinga enjoys a cordial relationship with many African presidents, considering that he was the AU Special Envoy for Infrastructure and that during his tenure, he established serious links with serving and former heads of state and governments across the continent. 

Politically speaking, pundits say, the ODM party leader and President Ruto could also be playing mind with the Kenyan voters, just preparing them for the inevitable, a soft landing as the two leaders are soon likely to start working together with Mr Odinga taking up the position of Leader of the Official Opposition.

The move could also have been one way of demystifying certain allegations in the Kenyan media of a split among top politicians in the country, the President sought to demonstrate to other African leaders that this is not the case.

Had Raila Odinga failed to attend the summit, it may have drawn unnecessary attention and hurt President Ruto’s administration. Africans and the rest of the world need to see Raila Odinga and Ruto share a common vision and unity of purpose when it comes to good governance. The presence of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the summit means so much to the two leaders. It is believed that it was Mr Guateres who was among many world leaders that exerted pressure on Raila Odinga and William Ruto to hold the Mombasa meeting a few months ago, the meeting in Mombasa gave birth to the ongoing bipartisan talks at Bomas Of Kenya. 

President Ruto on Tuesday, ensured that Raila Odinga came face-to-face with his deputy Rigathi Gachagua, the President also ensured that Mr Gachagwa was listed among those welcoming the heads of state and other VIPs when arriving at the KICC. Sources say the DP was not aware of Mr Odinga’s arrival at the KICC. 

It has been speculated that the DP’s media team was ordered by unknown persons to pull down the photo of him shaking hands with Raila Odinga from his official Facebook page for whatever reason. 

The meeting between Raila Odinga and Gachagua at KICC comes barely a week after speculations spread like bushfire that the President had differed with his DP at State House Nairobi over the ongoing bipartisan talks. Sources say the DP was pushing his boss to do away with the talks. The president dismissed his fears as misplaced and promised to offer his support to the team for the sake of peace and development.

Soon after the alleged disagreement at State House, Gachagua is said to have given the conference a wide berth, choosing to visit his rural home instead rather than being at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport welcoming the visiting heads of state. His absence at JKIA caused a stir since Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Alfred Mutua assumed those responsibilities. Many Kenyans questioned why a deputy president would forego attending to official duties to travel to his rural home, visit his aunt and then throw a party for kids in his community.