ODM leader Raila Odinga sat on Deputy President William Ruto’s seat for a few seconds as he waited for Mr Ruto to leave the podium at Bomas of Kenya for him [Odinga] to make his address.
The DP had invited Mr Odinga, who was seated several meters from the dais, to “make some remarks”; and to avoid a moment of awkward silence, the DP continued with his speech in a bid to buy time and allow Mr Odinga to arrive to the podium.
However, the DP’s speech was a little bit longer than the time Mr Odinga needed to arrive to the podium, forcing the former premier to stand near President Kenyatta’s space for a few seconds before he [Odinga] was shown elsewhere to sit, but Mr Odinga settled on the DP’s seat, which was placed next to President Kenyatta’s.
That moment sparked laughter — and some sort of confusion — among attendees of the anti-corruption conference in Bomas of Kenya.
“Before I invite his Excellency the president to make his remarks, in the spirit of what our Attorney General has said, that we have to mobilise the country toward unity of purpose, unity of efforts and that of the spirits…allow me to invite the Right Honorable Raila Odinga to make some remarks…,” said DP Ruto as Mr Odinga rose from his seat and walked toward the podium.
“And while he is coming, as you ably recognise, there is a reason why Uhuru Kenyatta is president. And as you can notice, he ably executed what we call the National Government [agenda]…,” said the DP, as Mr Odinga waited on his [Ruto’s] seat, placed next to the Head of State’s.
The DP quickly read the situation; and in a bid to prevent that protocol friction, he left the podium for Mr Odinga to make his address, who began by saying: “I really do not know what is interesting [to warrant the laughter].”
The executive wing led by Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto, president of the Judiciary David Maraga, Attorney General Kihara Kariuki, Raila Odinga, among other leaders, were present at Bomas of Kenya for the 2-day National Anti-Corruption Conference, which has seen different stakeholders in Government vowing to tackle graft in the country.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga, in their speeches, insisted that the Judiciary is the “weakest link” in the fight against graft, urging Chief Justice David Maraga and the Judicial Service Commission to “reflect”.