Azimio la Umoja - One Kenya coalition leader Raila Odinga has rubbished claims that he is in secret talks with President William Ruto for a handshake.
Speaking during an interview with KTN News on Tuesday night, the opposition chief denied claims that some of the leaders from the opposition who have been visiting Ruto at State House in recent weeks were under instruction from him to negotiate for a piece of a cake in the Kenya Kwanza administration.
"I can say without fear of contradiction that I have not sent anyone to Mr Ruto," Raila said, adding that the Head of State had not reached out to him either.
"What I am saying in the day is what I say also at night. We are not looking for half a loaf and even under Uhuru's government we did not even get a quarter of a loaf. The only time that we went into government was in 2008 when the (handshake) was negotiated by the international community," Raila said while responding to claims from Ruto and his deputy Rigathi Gachagua that the ongoing anti-government rallies spearheaded by the opposition are aimed at stoking a political crisis to force Ruto into a handshake with Azimio, a scheme they claim the ODM party leader used to secure a pact with retired President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2018.
Raila insisted that he is not interested in a handshake with Ruto and distanced himself from Ruto's bid to create an office of the Official Leader of the Opposition.
He claimed that Ruto is being pushed by the international community to create the office of the Official Opposition Leader.
The opposition chief said Ruto anticipated Azimio would win the presidential poll and advocated for the establishment of the office of the Official Opposition Leader ahead of the August 2022 polls as a backup plan during his engagements with senior diplomats in the country.
After being declared President in August, Raila claims, the diplomats approached Ruto and asked him to create the same office he had proposed.
"They knew that they were not going to form the government. When senior diplomats talked to him (Ruto) in July they asked him what he would do in the event he lost the elections. He said that he wanted to be a powerful opposition leader and wants them to help him pressurise me to create the position of opposition leader," Raila said.
"After the elections, they approached him and told him to create what he had asked to be created. That's the origin of this proposal. This I have gotten from several diplomats," he added.
Former Mukurweini Member of Parliament (MP) Kabando wa Kabando recently claimed that Raila is on his way to Parliament as a Prime Minister (PM) courtesy of Ruto's plan.
In tweets posted on February 20, 2023, Kabando claimed that Ruto is baiting Azimio.
He alleged that Raila would be Prime Minister through the constitutional amendments proposed by the government.
"Making this observation without fear, favour, bias, or prejudice: Ruto is baiting Azimio while Raila is on his way to Parliament via Ruto's sly constitutional amendments. Ruto and Raila in plot; secret talks. HIGH VOLTAGE PALACE CONSPIRACY against gullible, suffering Kenyans," Kabando tweeted.
He added that Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka would be made senior envoy.
The former Mukurweini MP suggested that rebel Jubilee and ODM lawmakers who have aligned themselves with the government are just part of the strategy to prop up numbers in Parliament to guarantee an easy time passing the envisaged Constitutional amendments.