Did President Ruto influence Raila's 'departure' from A.U job?

for Tv47 Digital February 24, 2023, 07:49 AM
ODM leader Raila Odinga and President William Ruto.
ODM leader Raila Odinga and President William Ruto. PHOTOS/FILE

In Summary

  • A confidential source says the request to terminate Raila's tenure was made at one of the closed-door meetings on the sidelines of the AU Summit. 
  • But Raila said the termination came after he made a request "to pursue other pressing and urgent matters."

President William Ruto may have had a hand in the termination of Raila Odinga's tenure as the African Union Commission’s high representative for infrastructure development in Africa. 

A confidential source quoted by the 'Daily Nation' says his continuous politicking triggered the diplomatic push to have Odinga dropped from the post. 

“You must remember that President Uhuru Kenyatta who got him here [into the post] is no longer in power," the confidential source is quoted as saying. "This was a polite termination and the request was made at one of the closed-door meetings on the sidelines of the AU Summit." 

President Ruto at the AU Heads of States summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. PHOTO | FILE

The AU Heads of States Summit, which was attended by several leaders among them President Ruto was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 18th- 19th February this year. 

“ Yes! H.E [President William Ruto] on this end requested that it be terminated given Raila Odinga’s continued politicking," added the confidential source. 

Odinga, who lost to Ruto in the August 2022 presidential election, says he does not recognise Ruto as President. Together with his Azimio brigade, he has described the Kenya Kwanza administration as  illegitimate.

Ruto beat Raila

Ruto beat Raila after garnering 7,176,141 votes [50.49% of the total votes cast]. Raila managed 6,942,930 votes [48.85%]. The later petitioned the Supreme Court over the loss but the apex court upheld Ruto's victory. 

“The AU has sanctioned nations that do not support democracy and people who try to create instability in stable African nations. Raila has said he doesn’t recognise Ruto as President, he is holding anti-government meetings and recently unveiled youths in red berets.

Raila Odinga at a past rally. He says he does not recognise Ruto as president and continues to push on with 'people's barazas.' PHOTO | FILE

"It’s the same as trying to overthrow a democratically elected government. He cannot continue to work in the AU yet he doesn’t espouse its views,” added the source. 

On Thursday Feb 23, Raila said his departure from the AU position was out of his own volition. In his response to a letter by AU President Moussa Faki dated February 19, 2023, Raila wrote

"I indicated the challenges to my continued availability for the role of AU High Representative for Infrastructure Development in Africa....In that regard, I welcome your quick action that will free me to pursue other pressing and urgent matters." 

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