Raila to brief UK lead­ers on poll brawl

Nasa leader is this af­ter­noon ex­pected to give a lec­ture on the po­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion in the coun­try at a pub­lic lec­ture in Lon­don. He held talks with the Arch­bishop of Can­ter­bury Justin Welby, yes­ter­day.

Daily Nation (Kenya) - - FRONT PAGE - BY PETER LEFTIE pmutibo@ke.na­tion­media.com

Mr Odinga’s trip co­in­cides with that of Mr Musyoka to US for ‘per­sonal rea­sons’

Nasa leader Raila Odinga will this af­ter­noon give a lec­ture on the po­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion in the coun­try at a pub­lic fo­rum in the UK.

Mr Odinga, who left the coun­try for Lon­don on Wed­nes­day night, will de­liver the one-hour lec­ture ti­tled “Kenya’s Next Test: Democ­racy, Elec­tions and the Rule of Law” at Chatham House in the English cap­i­tal.

A state­ment signed by Mr Odinga’s spokesman Den­nis Onyango yes­ter­day said the op­po­si­tion chief would also hold talks with a host of UK politi­cians as well as the busi­ness com­mu­nity.

“Mr Odinga ar­rived in the UK to­day and is sched­uled to meet lead­ers drawn from both within and out­side govern­ment, busi­ness and pol­i­tics,” read the state­ment.

Early yes­ter­day, Mr Odinga held talks with the Arch­bishop of Can­ter­bury Justin Welby. The talks, ac­cord­ing to Mr Odinga’s of­fice, fo­cused on the un­fold­ing po­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion in the coun­try.

Mr Odinga posted a pic­ture of him­self and the head of the Angli­can Church in the world on his Twit­ter ac­count, say­ing: “I value greatly the wise coun­sel that Justin Welby, Arch­bishop of Can­ter­bury, im­parted when I paid a courtesy call on him this morn­ing,” read the tweet.

Ac­cord­ing to Mr Odinga’s of­fice, the arch­bishop, on whose re­quest the meet­ing was held, ex­pressed gen­uine wor­ries about things in the coun­try and wished Kenyans suc­cess in deal­ing with the chal­lenges.

Mr Odinga also posted an­other pic­ture of him­self and for­mer UN Deputy Sec­re­tary-gen­eral Lord Mark Brown with whom he held talks later in the day. “My meet­ing with for­mer UN Deputy Sec­re­tary-gen­eral yielded valu­able in­sights into Kenya’s po­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion,” Mr Odinga stated.

Sources close to the Nasa leader re­vealed that he would also hold talks with the UK Min­is­ter of State for Africa Roy Stewart and for­mer Sec­re­tary of State for In­ter­na­tional De­vel­op­ment in the UK cabi­net, Mr An­drew Mitchell.

The meet­ings, ac­cord­ing to sources, will fo­cus on his rea­sons for with­draw­ing from the Oc­to­ber 26 re­peat pres­i­den­tial elec­tion and his views on how the coun­try can con­tinue on the path of re­forms.

The Nasa leader will also have a ses­sion with Kenyans liv­ing in the UK be­fore fly­ing back to the coun­try to­mor­row morn­ing, ac­cord­ing to Mr Onyango.

Mr Odinga’s trip to the UK co­in­cided with that of Nasa co-prin­ci­pal Kalonzo Musyoka who also flew out to the US on Wed­nes­day night, just a day af­ter they an­nounced their with­drawal from the poll. Ki­tui Se­na­tor Enoch Wam­bua told the Na­tion Mr Musyoka was in the US to at­tend to what he termed a “per­sonal mat­ter” and will be back on Mon­day.

Mr Odinga’s de­par­ture on Wed­nes­day night caught many by sur­prise as it had been ex­pected that he would travel last night.

Mr Odinga’s ad­viser Salim Lone had said Mr Odinga would use the Lon­don fo­rum to shed light on what he termed “di­min­ish­ing space for free and fair elec­tions in the coun­try”.

“He will be in Lon­don for a day-anda-half,” he said.

The with­drawal does not af­fect Mr Odinga’s UK trip, where he will give an ad­dress at Chatham House, and hold dis­cus­sions with lead­ing fig­ures,” Salim Lone, Raila Odinga’s ad­viser

PHOTO | COURTESY

Nasa leader Raila Odinga with for­mer UN Deputy Sec­re­tary-gen­eral Lord Mark Brown in the UK yes­ter­day.

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