, MOMBASA, Kenya, Jun 15 – President Uhuru Kenyatta and his political nemesis Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho have declared that they will work together for the development of the country.
The two leaders, who fell out in January 2016, met for the first time and shared a podium on Thursday at Miritini during the commissioning of the first phase of the Sh11.5 billion Dongo Kundu bypass also known as the Miritini-Mwache-Kipevu links road.
Their rivalry started when Joho accused Uhuru of taking credit for donor-funded projects in Mombasa and their rivalry intensified last year towards the August 8 General Election.
However, the two seem to have buried the hatchet since the famous handshake between President Uhuru and opposition leader Raila Odinga.
On arrival, governor Joho welcomed President Kenyatta and the two happily shook hands.
Kenyatta said last year’s insults and chest-thumping did not help; but rather brought about so many problems for the country.
“Those things don’t help. They only bring problems,” said the President in reference to the bitter fall-out.
He called on all leaders to work together and bring about development in the country.
“We must serve Kenyans equally, but we will only do so if we as leaders can sit down and talk out our issues first,” he said.
The Mombasa governor said he was eager to work with the President, and would not be afraid to raise any issues if need be.
“We will work with you; we will work with your government to uplift the lives of the people of Mombasa and Kenya. At first, we used to speak at each other. Now we want to speak with one another so we can find solutions to our problems,” said Joho.
Last year, Joho was blocked twice by heavily armed General Service Unit (GSU) officers when he tried to gatecrash two state functions in Mombasa; first during the re-opening of the Mtongwe crossing channel and then during the commissioning of the Standard Gauge Railway passenger train.
With a light touch to what happened last year, Joho said he thought that the GSU officers who were deployed at Miritini on Thursday had instructions to block him.
“At first I was scared that I was being followed by the General Service Unit officers on my way here. I only came to know that they were actually facilitating my movement to this place,” he said amid laughter.