Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta says there is no political crisis in the country and rejected calls for dialogue between him and his political rival Raila Odinga over a political standoff ahead of fresh presidential elections later this month.
Speaking during campaigns over the weekend in his Central Kenya stronghold, Kenyatta accused his opponent of provoking violence and insisted that the country must go to the polls.
Odinga who has withdrawn from the re-run until the electoral commission implements reforms told his supporters that countrywide protests would continue daily, beginning Monday until the commission institutes the reforms.
The European Union’s observer mission on Monday called for dialogue and compromises to allow for a peaceful and transparent electoral process. Sarah Kimani reports on the latest in Kenya’s political standoff.
The ruling Jubilee party continued with its campaigns ahead of fresh elections due on the 26th of this month.
Over the weekend, Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto pitched tent in their Central Kenya stronghold.
It is here that Kenyatta brushed off the ongoing political standoff in the country as a creation of his main opponent Odinga, accusing him of attempting to force a power sharing deal.
Kenyatta says, “Kenya has no crisis, Kenya has no problem, the problems that we have are the result of one man who goes by the name of Raila Amolo Odinga, who has refused to be a democrat, who has refused the will of the people, and his desire to take power through the back door by causing violence, commotion and chaos in kenya. But Kenyans have said we are a nation that is governed by the rule of law.”
Kenyatta said the decision on the next government would be decided at the ballot but not through mediation.
Opposition leader Odinga who last week announced that he had withdrawn from the presidential race, dismissed claims that he is after a coalition government with the help of western countries.
He called on supporters to hold demonstrations daily to push for reforms.
Meanwhile, a joint report by rights groups Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch indicate that police in Kenya killed at least 33 people and as many as 50 injured hundreds more during August protests that followed the announcement of Uhuru Kenyatta as winner of a second presidential term.
Police have termed the report as “totally misleading and based of falsehoods.”
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– By Sarah Kimani