, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 28 – President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Sunday led the country in marking the second anniversary since the National accord was signed.
While attending mass at the Holy Family Basilica, the two principles dwelt on the need for Kenyans to be united while embracing their diversity.
President Kibaki expressed optimism that Kenya would grow to be a prosperous nation.
“We need to get together, not to get wasted in temporary quarrels. What I am pleading with every Kenyan is not to be selfish, don’t just think of a Kenya that is wonderful for you but everybody else is miserable, we want a Kenya that is prosperous for all of us,” he said.
The Premier on his part defended the grand coalition government record and said a lot had been achieved in terms of uniting Kenyans, plus reforms were in progress.
“Kenyans must be united as a people then we will be able to realise the Kenyan dream – to rid this country off ignorance, poverty, disease and bad governance which was the wish and will of our founding fathers,” the Prime Minister said.
The two coalition partners steered off the constitution debate and said they wanted the will of Kenyans to prevail.
While President Kibaki called on Parliamentarians to pass a constitution that was acceptable to all Kenyans, Prime Minister Odinga said this was not the time to engage in grand standing on the constitution issue.
“And we don’t want to talk about it before they (Parliamentarians) have finished passing it but we will talk about it at parliament and other places and I am sure that is your wish that we all succeed and we shall have a good constitution,” the Head of State said.
Mr Odinga said: “The constitution has reached a very delicate phase where it has now gone to parliament and this is not the time for us to engage in incitement and agitation. That is why I have desisted from stating my position, even the President has desisted all this time from stating his position so that the process can move freely among the people.”
On Saturday however, President Kibaki made it clear that he would not accept a constitution that legalised abortion and said it must recognise that life begins at conception.
Catholic Archbishop John Cardinal Njue who led the mass also emphasised on the abortion clause and said if the Members of Parliament amended it to legalise abortion then they would be “murderers”.
But Mr Odinga defended the parliamentarians and said: “I would be very careful before I said Members of Parliament will be murderers. They have not drafted the constitution that is going to parliament; it has been drafted by other people. We all know that life is precious and where life begins.”
“I would want us all – the politicians, clergy, civil society to be very cautious at this moment in time that we do not divide people,” he added.
The government declared a National Thanksgiving and Cohesion day on Sunday, urging Kenyans of all religious backgrounds to pray for unity in the country.
Today marks the 2nd anniversary since the accord was signed, to signal an end to the bloodbath witnessed in Kenya after the disputed presidential elections.