King Charles III greeting Raila Odinga
Image: PCS

Senator Geoffrey Osotsi of Vihiga has now stated that Raila Odinga, the head of Azimio, was not present at Tuesday's State Dinner as a guest of President William Ruto.

Osotsi claimed that Raila was present because he was a friend of the Royal family.

The Senator stated in a statement on Thursday that Raila was present in his formal capacity as Kenya's opposition leader.


He claimed that when UK High Commissioner Neil Wigan paid him a visit last month, the former prime minister received an invitation to the celebration.

"You remember very well that Raila Odinga was visited by the new Ambassador of the UK to Kenya Neil Wigan on October 12, and that is the time the ambassador officially invited Raila Odinga to that event to meet the King.

"So, Raila Odinga was not in State House courtesy of the invitation of President William Ruto or any of these UDA people. He was there as a guest of the King, leader of the Opposition and a friend of the Royal family," Osotsi said.


The senator from Vihiga criticised President William Ruto's supporters for highlighting Raila's visit to the State House.

He said that everyone in Kenya has the right to visit the State House and that it is their property.

"I think it very simple for those in Kenya Kwanza side to overly be excited about Raila Odinga's visit to State House. First of all State House is not the UDA office, it is not Ruto's home. State House is the property of Kenya and it belongs to all Kenyans, not an individual. Every Kenyan has a right to go to State House."

Political circles have been perplexed by Raila's attendance at the State Banquet, where the President hosted King Charles III and Queen Camilla, two visiting Royals.

Kenyans belonging to various groups have given differing interpretations on Raila's visit. Since Ruto became office last year, this is Raila's first visit to the State House.

On Wednesday, Raila's attendance at the State banquet at the State House should not be interpreted out of context, according to Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka.

When prominent leaders visit the nation, he added, select leaders of particular ranks are qualified to get invitations.

Kalonzo contrasted Raila's visit to the State House with his own attendance at an Africa Climate Action Summit dinner.

"At the level of former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, I can tell you some of us are on a standing list that we would be invited in the event of an important guest like his Majesty King Charles. It should not be seen beyond that," he said.