Raila meets US senator Chris Coons ahead of Thursday demos

Raila meets US senator Chris Coons ahead of Thursday demos

Azimio La Umoja One Kenya leader Raila Odinga (R) with US senator Chris Coons on March 29, 2023. | PHOTO: @RailaOdinga/Twitter

Azimio La Umoja One Kenya leader Raila Odinga on Wednesday met a delegation led by United States senator Chris Coons.

Senator Coons, a close ally of US President Joe Biden, is in the country for talks with Kenyan politicians to discuss matters of mutual interest such as trade, security and democracy.

Odinga said his meeting with Coons featured discussions on development and upholding the constitution.

“Had a great meeting this evening with US Senator Chris Coons and his delegation to discuss developments in our country. We had a fruitful discussion on the importance of upholding the constitution and the rule of law and agreed to keep the channels of communication open,” Odinga wrote in a tweet, alongside photos from the meeting.

Others in attendance were US Ambassador to Kenya, Meg Whitman and a raft of Azimio-allied leaders among them Kalonzo Musyoka, Jeremiah Kioni and Makau Mutua.

The meeting came hours before Odinga led the third round of anti-government protests on Thursday as he continues to pressure President William Ruto’s administration to lower the cost of living among other demands.

Despite the police terming the protests illegal, Odinga has maintained that he will lead supporters in taking to the streets to exercise their constitutional rights.

And while several people have been killed, scores injured and property destroyed in the previous protests, the opposition leader claims they will be peaceful. He accuses the police of sparking violence.

President Ruto meanwhile holds that he will not have discussions with the opposition leader outside the confines of the constitution, such as the truce between Odinga and retired president Uhuru Kenyatta on March 9, 2018.

He says he has reviewed Odinga’s demands but found them unsubstantial.

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