no handshake

Kenya: Can Ruto win over Raila’s allies in the post-election battle?

By Jeff Otieno

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Posted on September 21, 2022 07:26

 © William Ruto and Raila Odinga on 16 August 2022
William Ruto and Raila Odinga on 16 August 2022

After beating the odds to become Kenya’s fifth head of state, President William Ruto has set his sights on sending his fierce rival Raila Odinga into political retirement. Will Ruto succeed in scoring a double win over Raila who has been active in politics for more than three decades?

On 15 August, after being declared the winner of the fiercely contested presidential election in Kenya, William Ruto warned his rival Raila Odinga, still smarting from defeat, that their political battle was not yet over.

“There will be no handshake. The handshake created a mongrel that made it difficult for the government to deliver services to its people. We will not repeat that mistake,” said Ruto referring to an agreement between then-President Uhuru Kenyatta and then-opposition leader Raila Odinga, a decision Ruto vehemently opposed and has constantly blamed for government failures.

However, the multiple handshakes with Raila’s allies after his win left little doubt in many people’s minds that President Ruto was on a mission to weaken the former prime minister politically.

“The handshakes which were characterised by the exchange of memorandum of understanding documents revealed

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