, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 24 – Top presidential candidates on Sunday pledged to preach peace ahead of the General Election next month in a rare show of unity.
Speaking at Uhuru Park where thousands of faithful thronged in the third day of a vigil presided over by self styled prophet David Owuor, they also vowed to concede defeat if beaten and promised to fully work with the victor.
During the prayer meeting, Prime Minister Raila Odinga announced that he and his long time political adversary William Ruto have forgiven each other thanks to Prophet Owuor’s intervention.
“It will not be a winner takes it all. It will be a role for everybody. I also want to thank the Prophet because he has tried hard to bring us all together. He has always done this and I can reveal here that last year he brought me and my brother William Ruto together and we are now working together. Long live Kenya!” the Premier stated.
Ruto on the other hand confirmed the Prime Minister’s revelation and emphasised that peacemakers during the election must come from the very top in leadership to ensure violent free polls.
“Just as the Prime Minister has said, we have forgiven each other. And in a similar manner, we have forgiven everyone else and we are also asking for forgiveness from anyone whom we may have wronged,” he said. “This is the will of God that, ‘Blessed are the peace makers for they shall be called children of God.”
Jubilee Alliance presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta emphasised that the violence seen in elections of the past must remain in the past and vowed to promote a peaceful election.
“In 2007 and the events following it is now behind us. I know in my heart that we shall choose each other and we will have peace. I Uhuru Kenyatta swear before the true God and before all Kenyans that I will promote and preach peace at all times,” he stated.
The Eagle Alliance presidential candidate Peter Kenneth who was also present urged Kenyans to pray for peace and a leader that would deliver Kenya from the troubles that have bedevilled it.
Kenneth emphasised the need for Kenyans to shun tribalism as it only divides Kenyans and further stated that the country should never go back to the events following the 2007 elections.
During the peace prayers at Uhuru Park, he told the mammoth crowd that they should hold the different presidential candidates present during the prayers accountable for the pledges they made before the people.
Kenneth told Kenyans that tribalism was only brought by incompetent leaders who only had selfish interests at heart.
Alliance for Real Change (ARK) candidate Abduba Dida in particular said that true repentance is hinged on four conditions and asked Kenyans to accept that they have sinned and need repentance.
“If you have grabbed someone’s land, please return it to the owner and ask God for forgiveness,” he said.
Addressing the jubilant crowd waving white handkerchiefs to symbolise peace, Dida urged looters of private property, land grabbers and those in possession of property of others to return back the stolen wealth to the owners if their repentance is to make sense.
Thousands of the Owuor’s followers have been camping at Uhuru Park since Friday, praying that the forthcoming elections are conducted peacefully.
The prayers are coming just one week before the March 4th elections.
Nearly all the presidential candidates cut short their campaigns to attend the prayers and before embarking on their campaign trail.
Some of the pastors who have spoken at the crusade urged the faithful to only vote for the leaders who attended the repentance day prayers saying it showed they valued peace.