KISUMU, Kenya, Jun 29 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has challenged politicians to emulate religious leaders and unite in developing the country regardless of party affiliation.
He said politicians need to know that even if they belong to different political parties, they serve the same Kenyans.
“Belonging to different political parties does not amount to being enemies. It only means that we have different manifestos and approaches which are aimed at developing the same country and improving the lives of the same Kenyans,” President Kenyatta said.
The President spoke Monday at Uzima University College where he joined Catholic faithful in celebrating the Silver Jubilee of the Kisumu Archdiocese, which also marked 47 years of Archbishop Zacchaeus Okoth’s service to the church.
President Kenyatta commended the religious leaders from different denominations who came together to celebrate the achievements of their colleagues, saying that is the way the country should move.
He exuded confidence that the country was on course in its development targets, saying what is required is for Kenyans to abandon petty differences and focus on national interests.
The President emphasized the Government’s determination to spread development across the country, saying it is essential for peace and progress.
“We will unite with the church and other leaders to implement development that will guarantee the peace that we need as a country,” the President said.
Congratulating Archbishop Okoth, President Kenyatta assured him of support in the implementation of church projects – key among them the Uzima University College improvement project.
“You can count on our support and commitment in promoting that good work,” he said.
The Head of State made a personal donation of Sh2 million in support of a foundation created by Archbishop Okoth to assist needy Uzima University College students.
Speaking during the occasion, former Prime Minister Raila Odinga said he supported the President’s development initiatives.
On the issue of the National Youth Service (NYS), Odinga said he was not opposing the youth empowerment and slum upgrading programs but only wanted transparency in their implementation.
“Let nobody cheat you that we are opposing the NYS programme. What we are talking about is transparency in procurement,” Odinga said.
Archbishop Okoth urged leaders to work together in serving the country and promoting peace.
He commended President Kenyatta, saying the country was blessed to have such an articulate leader.
The Archbishop also lauded First Lady Margaret Kenyatta for her ‘Beyond Zero’ campaign which was transforming the lives of mothers and promoting health across the country.
He requested for facilitation so that Uzima University College could be granted a charter and the President assured him that he discuss the issue with the relevant institutions.
Leaders from the region appreciated the President’s visit and development initiatives.
Governors Jack Ranguma (Kisumu), Cyprian Owiti (Homa Bay) and Cornelius Rasanga (Siaya) outdid each other inviting the President to their counties to discuss development.
Governor Owiti and his Siaya counterpart Rasanga said they were envious of Governor Ranguma because the President has visited Kisumu County twice but he has never been in Homa Bay and Siaya as Head of State.