This after Senator Coons visited the nation with a congressional delegation of US Senate and House Representatives on March 29, 2023 where held meetings with Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua and Mr. Odinga.
During the meetings, they discussed matters of mutual interest such as trade, security and democracy.
Speaking on Citizen TV’s Daybreak show on Monday, Maalim noted that Senator Coons played a pivotal role in fusing the two leaders and advised them to forgo the political wrangles.
“The biggest game changer here is not the church, the religious sector, or the political class. It is the American senator who came Chris Coons. He went and talked to everybody and told them to stand down,” he said.
Owing to his longevity in politics, Maalim argued that it was easy for him to read between the lines because a similar manner in which Ruto and Raila climbed down has been witnessed in past “handshakes”
He referred to a few instances where there was a truce between the government and the opposition including in 2017.
“Some of us have been around this for the longest time. Personally, I could be a skeptic but I would want history to dare me out,” he said.
“In 2002 there was a steamroller called NARC and we all thought that this is an opportunity for Kenyans to reclaim their nation because of the unity but then it collapsed in a matter of months. In 2007 we had the formation of the coalition of governments which was another handshake and the same was seen in 2017,” he added.
Maalim however noted that the nation has become of age and it is high time to break the tendency of having political battles after every election cycle.
“We are not a nation of men and women we have to be a nation of laws, rules, systems, institutions because today you have very powerful guys (President and opposition leader),” he noted.
“Tomorrow they will not be there will we have a replay of this all the time we go for elections.”
On Sunday, President Ruto urged Mr. Odinga to call off the public protests, suggesting that there will be a bipartisan parliamentary process to discuss the issues he had raised with the government among them the recruitment of commissioners to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
President Ruto stated that the IEBC selection panel and the future recruitment of its commissioners could yield “constitutionally and legally-binding proposals.”
“My suggestion is that this matter can be handled by parliament so that we can agree on what the issue is and we can adjust as agreed and as necessary,” Ruto, who was flanked by his deputy Rigathi Gachagua said.
On his part, Mr. Odinga heeded Ruto’s request however with a caveat, stating that the Azimio camp is prepared to resume protests if “no meaningful outcome” is reached within a week.