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Raila meets Handshake deal team ahead of retreat

by Seth Onyango @sethmanex A 14-member team to steer President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition chief Raila Odinga’s unity deal has commenced work ahead of its inauguration by the President.

The team is now scheduled to proceed on a retreat to agree on a work plan and programme for their activities. A statement released at the end of the meeting, jointly signed by the heads of the secretariat Martin Kimani and Paul Mwangi said Raila attended the meeting and briefed the team on what he and the President expected from them.

Raila outlined a nine-point agenda that will guide their engagements going forward ahead of their first retreat in an undisclosed place.

The team is expected to work on plan and programme as well as a timeframe within which the unity deal between the two leaders will be implemented.

“His Excellency Raila Odinga graced the meeting and also had a chance to speak one on one with the individual team members and later also addressed them on the expectations that he and His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta have on the team as they address the nine point agenda of the Memorandum of Understanding,” the statement indicated.

This comes even as political pundits expressed fears that the deal that led to a truce between the Uhuru and Raila could collapse amid claims of sabotage from both sides.

Already, politicians allied to Deputy President William Ruto have launched a tirade against Raila after claims that the former premier will be gunning for the presidency in 2022.

Cosmetic details about the handshake between the two leaders also have their lieutenants perching on the edge of their seats, while keeping ears on the ground for any clues.

But in what is set to put things in a spin, the committee held their first meeting to familiarise with each other and design a modus operandi.

They will operate under the “Building Bridges Initiative” and are expected to periodically inform the President and the former premier about their progress.

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