Jubilee Secretary General Jeremiah Kioni
Jubilee Secretary General Jeremiah Kioni asserts that the ongoing dispute between President William Ruto and opposition leader Raila Odinga has escalated after King Charles III's visit to Kenya concluded.
According to Kioni, the government deliberately orchestrated a plan of oppressing the opposition and giving a misleading impression of unity across the nation. Kioni feels that the pressing needs of the opposition for a reduction in the cost of living, among other things, were not addressed, thus implying clever manoeuvres by the government's public relations department. This situation was highlighted at the State Banquet, where Raila and Ruto seemed rather friendly, and at the Africa Climate Summit held at KICC, where Raila was warmly received as an important invitee by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua.
The gathering, which drew more than 17 heads of state, centred on formulating tactics to address the issue of climate change in anticipation of the upcoming 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai. Kioni also claimed that President Ruto had agreed to engage in bipartisan talks led by the National Dialogue Committee to handle opposition matters before the arrival of influential world leaders. According to Kioni, Their participation in the conversation appeared to serve no other purpose than to divert attention from the opposition's efforts to hold the government accountable.
Kioni highlights that while these discussions unfolded over a period of three months, the government was involved in corrupt activities, including the controversial Saudi oil deal and the edible oil scandals within the Ministries of Energy and Trade. These scandals resulted in the misappropriation of funds totalling Sh6 billion. In August 2023, Gachagua exposed Raila's secret negotiations with Ruto, while simultaneously pressuring Kalonzo to engage in bipartisan talks. Gachagua predicted that these talks would not produce any fruitful outcomes.
In a recent statement on Thursday, November 16, Raila alleged that Ruto utilized a government-to-government oil agreement to assist local companies in avoiding the payment of the 30 per cent corporate tax. Additionally, Raila pointed fingers at Gulf Energy, Galana Oil Kenya Ltd, and Oryx Energies Kenya Limited, accusing them of purchasing fuel at a lower cost and selling it at a higher price. These three companies were chosen to supply oil in Kenya and made their purchases in Shillings to safeguard against the depreciation of the dollar.
In response to Raila's report, Ruto retaliated, accusing the opposition of attempting to uncover a fabricated scandal within his administration. Ruto stood firm in his claim that the agreement was legitimate and that his government was committed to fighting corruption.