, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 26 – President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga have defended their newfound relationship and dismissed claims by a section of politicians that it is about 2022 succession politics.
The two leaders were speaking at the requiem service of Kenneth Matiba in Murang’a where they urged leaders to stop politicizing the matter and instead focus on building peace and unity bridges in the country.
“We have just come from an electioneering period and everyone has a right to vie because that is the democracy we fought for, but after the election, we must look for a way to ensure everyone is accommodated. And I thank my brother (Odinga), as he has said, we reached out to each other and agreed Kenya is important than everyone and we cannot continue on disagreeing as our country suffer,” President Kenyatta said.
He said he was aware that some leaders from both political fronts were not happy about their reunion.
“There are many who were not happy with what we did. That is the truth because they thrive when there is commotion. But we agreed that we don’t want those people who thrive in commotion, we want those who will thrive in peace and prosperity,” he asserted.
Odinga on his part said Kenya is bigger than any leader while reminding politicians rattled by his association with President Kenyatta of the need to serve the people with honesty as opposed to politicizing every matter.
“We sat down and talked for a long time. We discussed and said when a child goes for an interview, the moment they mention their name, it is a curse or a blessing because of what we have become,” he said.
“We are so divided ethnically and that is why we talked about inclusivity, ethnic cohesion, tribalism, corruption, insecurity and so on.”
The Opposition chief said he was optimistic that their agreement will lead to the healing of the country.
“We are not thinking about 2022. It will come and go. We agreed that the divisions that have all the time stopped Kenyans from achieving the Kenyan dream…this will end with us, Raila Odinga and Uhuru Kenyatta,” he said.
The Harambee House meeting between President Kenyatta and the ODM leader was followed by similar ones with former Presidents Mwai Kibaki and Daniel Moi, in what sent shivers across the political divide on what Odinga is really up to.
In his address to mourners in Murang’a, President Kenyatta said whoever has a problem with the handshake should ask him.
“As Raila has said, there will be 2022; let us receive these politics aside. I will continue walking together with my brother, and anyone with a question should ask us. But we must stop witch-hunt behind the scene,” he said.
The funeral ceremony was attended by thousands of Murang’a residents and leaders among them Deputy President William Ruto.
DP Ruto urged Kenyans to be patriotic, a virtue that was with the late political icon.