NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 22 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has warned against politicization of his handshake with former Prime Minister Raila Odinga saying it is for the benefit of the country.
Speaking during the memorial service of his father Jomo Kenyatta who was Kenya’s founding President on Wednesday, the Head of State indicated the handshake was not frivolous but had deeper meaning.
He emphasised that it was meant to unite all Kenyans regardless of their tribe or political affiliation.
“You know I keep reading in newspapers, listening to stories when people are talking about political pacts… I want you to understand that there is a much deeper understanding between myself and the honourable Raila Odinga,” he stated.
“A much deeper understanding that is driven by a desire to ensure that we leave this country much stronger, more united, more focused than it has ever been.”
He stressed the need for all Kenyans to emulate his example and never to be drawn into divisive politics again that could result in the loss of lives.
“That requires teamwork. It requires people coming together. And I would appeal to all politicians that there will never be an end to politics. That is life. But please, do not misinterpret politics with this deeper understanding. Politics will come and go, Kenya will remain,” he stated.
Earlier, President Kenyatta laid a wreath at the Jomo Kenyatta mausoleum next to Parliament buildings before walking together with other leaders to the Holy Family Basilica for the memorial service.
“We are desirous of working together. We may even compete in future. But we want to compete on the basis of what agenda do we have for the country not because of which ethnic group we come from or what religion we are,” he said.
“We want to be able to join hands together and say corruption is a vice. It doesn’t make a difference whether you are in government, whether you are out of government, we must come together and eliminate corruption.”
The Head of State stated the need for all Kenyans to reflect on the past and rededicate themselves to making life better in the future. “As much as Raila has said as much as there has been a lot of misunderstanding, that is the basis on which we come together.”