• June 18, 2024
  • Last Update June 18, 2024 4:11 PM
  • Nairobi

Raila explains why some Azimio members are part of Ruto’s US visit

Raila explains why some Azimio members are part of Ruto’s US visit

By Patricia Mollyne Mataga

Azimio leader Raila Odinga has defended politicians elected on the coalition’s ticket that are accompanying President William Ruto for his US visit.

There has been questions over the presence of Azimio governors in Ruto’s delegation prompting the former Prime Minister to issue a clarification.

In a statement signed by his spokesperson Dennis Onyango, Raila said Azimio leaders accompanying the President were invited by the US government.

“Odinga wishes to clarify that all Azimio leaders accompanying the President were invited by the US government and have his and the coalition’s permission to join the President on this mission, in line with established democratic traditions and the wider intrest of the Kenyan nation, that Azimio stands for,” read part of the statement issued on May 23, 2024.

In addition, Raila said the bipartisan delegation was in line with similar delegations by top US leaders including the visit to Kenya by then-US President Barack Obama.

During Obama’s visit to Kenya, his delegation comprised of both Republican and Democratic congressional leaders.

“More bipartisan delegations from the US have visited Kenya,” the ODM leader said.

Governor Gladys Wanga (Homa Bay) and Wavinya Ndeti (Machakos) are part of Ruto’s delegation alongside National Assembly Minority leader Opiyo Wandayi. 

Meanwhile, the former Prime Minister has urged the delegation to use the opportunity to help the US focus on “issues that matter to the greater majority of the people of Kenya.”

The issues outlined by the opposition leader include increased trade and investment, better healthcare opportunities locally, fighting corruption, the creation of jobs and access to information technology by the youth.

Ruto is in the US for a three-day State Visit.

He becomes the first African leader in more than 15 years to make an official state visit to the US.

The president was officially received on Wednesday by the First Lady of the United States of America Jill Biden at the Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.

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