It has now emerged that President Uhuru Kenyatta called ODM Leader Raila Odinga on the morning of March 31, 2021, ahead of the former Prime Minister's meeting with key party leaders at his Karen residence.
People Daily on April 1, reported that a highly placed source who sought anonymity revealed details of the hour-long phone call between the two leaders.
President Kenyatta is said to have called the former premier with the state of the March 9, 2018 handshake and the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) dominating the conversation.
This after recent reports indicated that the ODM camp had felt shortchanged in their pact with the Head of State.
The two leaders are also said to have talked about President Kenyatta's perceived support for the One Kenya Alliance comprising Musalia Mudavadi, Kalonzo Musyoka, Gideon Moi, and Moses Wetangula in the race to State House.
This had reportedly left ODM contemplating an alliance with Deputy President William Ruto ahead of the 2022 polls.
The highly placed source revealed that President Kenyatta assured the ODM leader of his support for the handshake and the BBI bill.
He urged the former premier to marshal his troops and dispel rumors of a possible alliance with the DP.
"The two held a telephone conversation at around 7 am, which lasted about an hour. The issues revolved around the continuous talk that the handshake and the BBI are under threat because the unity between President Kenyatta and Raila had collapsed. There were also concerns about claims that Raila was leaning towards Ruto, and, therefore, it was agreed Raila calls a meeting and discounts the narrative," the source was quoted as saying.
After the phone call, Raila hosted some of his close allies in ODM Chairman John Mbadi, Suna East Member of Parliament Junet Mohammed, Senate Minority Leader James Orengo, ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna, Homa Bay Woman Representative Gladys Wanga, and Treasurer Timothy Bosire to his Karen residence.
The meeting coincided with the ODM chief's recovery from Covid-19 after he tested positive for the virus on March 6.
After the meeting, ODM released a statement declaring their undeterred support for the handshake and the BBI bill.
"The meeting reaffirmed ODM's commitment to the spirit of the handshake with President Uhuru Kenyatta that has created an environment of peace and stability required to address the issues facing the country.
"We tasked the party and our supporters to continue showing commitment to the handshake and its wider national goals in word and deed in the interest of the nation," the statement read in part.