Wednesday, October 17, 2018
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Uhuru And Raila Secret Night Talks Raise Eyebrows

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga on Thursday night held a four-hour secret meeting in Kilifi, reports the Standard.

The meeting, whose details are still scanty has fueled speculation that the two could have been discussing the anticipated Cabinet reshuffle.

The Sunday Standard has learned that Uhuru and Raila held talks in a restaurant within Vipingo Ridge in Kilifi County, and only a few aides were in the know.

The president flew to Vipingo Ridge on Monday and played golf on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at the Nyali Golf and Country Club.

Insiders said that the Head of State has been on a Sabbatical in Mombasa after the grueling year-long electioneering period, post election upheavals and setting up of his second Government.

“He said he wanted to be away from office and would probably visit Mombasa or Zanzibar,” said a source close to State House.

 Excused himself

Yesterday, Jubilee vice chairman David Murathe said that President Kenyatta had taken time of to work privately and in a quiet environment.

 

“In his absence from State House he has been working actively on national issues dear to him as well as his pledges to Kenyans,” Murathe said.

On Thursday afternoon, Raila flew to Mombasa and was welcomed by the county officials.

From the airport, the Opposition leader is said to have gone straight to Nyali where he opened his new home.

Later, the NASA leader and Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho joined the president at the restaurant for talks that started at around 8pm and went up to 11pm.

At some point, the governor is said to have excused himself and left the two leaders alone.

State House officials and Raila’s team have remained tight-lipped on the agenda of the meeting.

At Nyali Golf and Country Club, Kenyatta is said to have maintained a lean team of security men and would go to the club on the three consecutive days in a convoy of two drive and sometimes three cars, avoiding the motorcade that would easily have attracted attention of the residents.

The president is also said to have stayed away from the State House in Mombasa as would have been expected.

“He would come here with a lean team say five to seven people and go to play golf, on those occasions, the club would be closed until he leaves, only the members in the club would be allowed to continue with their activities,” said a worker who sought anonymity.

A photo of the Head of State and some of the officials of the Nyali Golf and Country Club at the golf course were posted on the club’s Facebook page on Thursday morning but were pulled down immediately.

There had been reports that the two leaders also met on Monday evening but it is not clear if the talks happened because Suna East MP Junet Mohamed said, Raila was in Nairobi at the time.

However, there was no activity at Raila’s Capitol Hill’s office from Monday afternoon until Wednesday when he separately hosted South Africa’s High Commissioner to Kenya Koleka Anita Mqulwana and Former MP Zakayo Cheruiyot and the family of the late Vice President Michael Kijana Wamalwa. The President’s allies yesterday maintained that he is ‘working smart’ and decided to reduce public appearance for now to concentrate on pressing matters.

“The president is working behind the scenes. Sometimes people want to see him and hear him talk tough but that’s not the case anymore. He doesn’t need to chest thump and issue orders for Kenyans to give him credit,” said Mr Murathe.

He added: “This is the best way of working. Out of the public limelight but felt through the daily occurrence. Those who used to rush to him every Friday, cannot access him and this has given him space for serve the electorate.”

The Jubilee Vice Chairman dismissed theories being advanced about Kenyatta’s exclusive meetings with Deputy President William Ruto and the Opposition leader, stressing that it’s only the president who can corroborate that.

“What I can say is that work is being done. The goodness with the President is that he is very straight forward and will say is as it is. If he is indisposed, he will say. For now, let’s allow him do his work,” Murathe said.

“The president’s operations are difficult to tell. He keeps everything close to his chest. Some of his communications are handwritten and typed once he is done,” disclosed an ally to the President.

When contacted, acting State House Spokesperson Kanze Dena said the president was at work.

 

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