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President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto and other leaders during the National Prayer Breakfast held at Parliament grounds on May 27, 2021.

BBI

Uhuru, Ruto ‘united’ in Prayers

NAIROBI, Kenya May 27 – President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto on Thursday shared a public forum for the first time in months.

The two top leaders attended the 18th edition of the National Prayer Breakfast at Parliament grounds where they rallied Kenyans to be united and hopeful. Ruto has not attended state events for some time now, in what insiders link to a rift with his boss stemming from association with former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

The cracks in the once formidable partnership that was enjoyed between President Kenyatta and hid deputy Ruto is also linked to the latter’s increasingly political ambition to ascend to power in 2022.

It was during the event that President Kenyatta asked Kenyans to live on hope even as the country continues to recover from the challenges triggered by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have been confronted by the worst health pandemic that the world has seen in the last 100 years and the realisation that we need to pull together, to work together and we need to have hope that it is indeed possible to overcome these challenges if we pull together,” the president said.

While committing that his administration was doing all it can to make it more accessible and affordable to all Kenyans, the Head of State challenged Parliament’s leadership to fast-track the passage of critical Bills that are aligned to realising good healthcare systems in the country.

“There are proposals before you, proposals that will ensure that every Kenyan is able to have access to health insurance because health insurance is the basis of us being able to offer universal healthcare. Please expedite the passage of the legislation that will allow us to ensure that our people are properly catered for and not just during the times of pandemic but always,” he said.

The NHIF Amendment Bill which seeks to make it mandatory for employers to pay benefits for their employees is one of the proposals before Parliament.

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Ruto who has been candid in his opposition about his bosses’ pet project that he shares with former Prime Minister Raila Odinga – the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI|) asked the political class to embrace each other and reason together for the betterment of building a united country.

The initiative has since been put on hold by the High Court but its proponents have filed appeals.

“So much has happened but as things stand today the Tanga Tanga tours are not there and the reggae has stopped. I think we need to listen and we need to do something together,” he said.

Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi challenged leaders to play their part but more importantly pray for the nation’s peace and posterity.

“Let us pray for God’s deliverance from the COVID-19 pandemic and the many challenges that we face as a country in our pursuit of social, economic and political ideals. Lets us continue to serve our people by pursuing those virtues that put us together rather than those that divide us,” he said.

Chief Justice Martha Koome in his prayer reminded Kenyans of the need to be united and be prayerful noting that prayer conquers all challenges.

Lawyer Peter Waiyaki who was the keynote speaker during the meeting challenged political leaders to uphold integrity at all times.

“We need to commit to integrity. What is integrity? It is doing what you said you will do, when you said you will do it and how you said it you will do it. Whoever we are, we need to commit to integrity.

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