NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 22 – President Uhuru Kenyatta says political disagreements are key in development and are a common feature during elections, hence should not be misinterpreted to mean that contestants are enemies.
Speaking during the memorial service of the country’s founding President Jomo Kenyatta on Tuesday, the President-elect urged Kenyans to forge forward after the elections and leave legal matters to the courts.
“As we respect our cultural diversity, let us also be able to respect our ability to have differing opinions but differing opinions do not mean enmity, we are still one people,” President Kenyatta stated.
“That is the essence and the core of democracy. And that is why even in this last election, I keep stating again and again, there is no single Kenyan who went to the ballot and made a mistake,” he said.
He appealed to all Kenyans to move on and focus on fostering peace.
“Every Kenyan voted where he or she desired and that is their right. But there comes a time when the decision is made and then we move forward together as a people focused on one common vision,” he said.
He stressed that political disagreements are the hallmark of a truly democratic nation and is healthy for its development.
“And I believe if we can keep that spirit going that is the spirit of our forefathers. Our ability to agree to disagree when necessary but to come together with a common objective of building a great prosperous nation called Kenya that belongs to all of us,” he said.
He emphasised the need for all to work towards ensuring that the development in the nation is preserved for future generations.
“And I look forward we also have an obligation to ensure that we leave a country and a people that can forge ahead for another 3,800 years long after we have left because of the foundation that we shall also have set and that is our dream, our objective,” he stated.
Deputy President William Ruto who also spoke at the occasion says he is proud of the strides the country has made so far since independence, citing the widening democratic space.
“He would be pleased that two things happened during this election that we have just had. That this is an election that was canvassed on the basis of the unity of our country and its development. I am confident that my boss, the President of Kenya today is a man that we can trust,” he stated.
They were speaking at St Stephen’s Church on Nairobi’s Jogoo Road where Jomo’s 39th memorial service was held, attended by his family and several dignitaries.
It all started with the President laying a wreath at the Jomo Kenyatta mausoleum adjacent to Parliament Buildings.
Jomo Kenyatta was a Kenyan anti-colonial leading activist and politician who governed Kenya as its Prime Minister from 1963 to 1964 and then as first President from 1964 to 1978 when he died in office.