The March 9th, 2018 handshake between President Uhuru and ODM leader Raila Odinga was as a result of blackmail from Western powers, Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi has claimed.
Mudavadi made the claim when he addressed a meeting of Kenyans living in the diaspora during his tour to the United States, according to The Standard.
He told the gathering that Odinga agreed to a political deal with Kenyatta after some Western nations withdrew visas for opposition leaders, their family members, and associates.
“The secret is that slowly visas were being canceled. And when Visas are canceled, they don’t just cancel yours alone. They cancel yours, that of your wife, children, and relatives,” Mudavadi was quoted by The Standard.
Mudavadi, who addressed a meeting at Muungano SDA Church in New Jersey on Tuesday evening, said the Western nations, which he did not name, indicated they would only restore the visas after the handshake.
“I want you to go home knowing that I, Musalia, do not believe in cheating you. I believe in telling you the truth. So what gave birth to a handshake is personal survival rather than patriotism,” he noted.
He also pointed out that the mock swearing-in of Odinga as ‘people's president’ was not based on patriotism but personal survival.
“I am speaking to my fellow Kenyans and I want to deliver some hard truths because, for too long, propaganda is spread and we get carried away,” he added.
However, Odinga’s spokesman Dennis Onyango dismissed Mudavadi's claims, saying that he was displaying ignorance as he was not involved in the handshake deal.
"This is a homegrown solution where foreign nations had no role to play and Mudavadi didn't know, and even now doesn't know, what happened,” said Onyango.
He added: “In any case, the two leaders agreed to have the handshake before the then US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrived in Nairobi to avoid a situation where it would be perceived the West had pushed them."
Mudavadi has been on a 10-day tour of the US which ends on Thursday. During the trip, Mudavadi urged Kenyans abroad to back his 2022 presidential bid.