, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 11 – President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta has reached out to his opponent in Tuesday’s election, NASA presidential candidate Raila Odinga.
In his acceptance speech after being declared the election winner by IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati, President Kenyatta called on Odinga, his supporters and MPs elected under his coalition to accept his olive branch and “work to grow Kenya together.”
“As I said to my worth opponents, especially my brother, the Right Honourable Raila Odinga I reach out to you; I reach out to all your supporters… I reach out to all who are elected on now the Opposition benches. We shall work together, we shall partner together, we shall grow together, we shall develop this nation together. We are there, ready to dialogue, to discourse and engage so that we can build this nation together, he said.
“As in any competition there will be winners and losers, I extend a hand of partnership.”
Odinga has refused to accept the results of the presidential election, which he claims was rigged in favour of Kenyatta, saying he doesn’t “trust” the forms that could have been “manipulated already.”
Odinga insists that the IT system of the electoral commission had been hacked and Kenya was witnessing the worst “voter theft” in its history.
But the electoral commission said that while there had been an attempt to hack its system, it had failed.
President Kenyatta equally promised to serve all Kenyans without any bias, favour or discrimination.
“I want to thank the people of this great and wonderful Republic of Kenya for the confidence they have shown in me, my administration and to them ours is just to pledge that we shall continue the work we have already started and re-dedicate ourselves even more towards serving this Nation and our people,” Kenyatta added.
At the same time, he urged Kenyans to co-exist as peacefully.
“Please reach out to your neighbour; say this election is over. Let us be peaceful, share with one another. Politicians also come and go,” he appealed to Kenyans.
“I take this opportunity once again to call upon all Kenyans to exercise the same peace and tranquillity we have seen before and during these elections. Your neighbour will always be your neighbour and we cannot fight over an election. Let us shun violence and let us refuse to be used for short term political gain that will cost our country pain and grief in the longer term.”
President Kenyatta also extended his gratitude to the staff and Commissioners at the electoral agency for burning the midnight oil to ensure that the results were validated before they were announced.
“I want to thank the electoral commission for a job well done,” he concluded his remarks.
The President was accompanied by First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto and his wife Rachel among others.
President Kenyatta had earlier made a road trip from his Ichaweri home in Gatundu to the Jubilee Party Election Monitoring Centre before he proceeded to the National Tallying Centre at the Bomas of Kenya.
While at KICC, President Kenyatta and DP Ruto took time to have some refreshments at the Tin-Tin Restaurant as they waited for the Commission to make the final declaration.