0 New Brothers-in-arms or frenemies? Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga extend olive branches
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New Brothers-in-arms, frenemies or Déjà vu? As Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga offer olive branches

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New Brothers-in-arms, frenemies or Déjà vu? As Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga offer olive branches

Sworn political enemies, President Uhuru Kenyatta and his long-term opponent, Raila Odinga, have extended each other olive branches and agree to work together to unify their opposing supporters and their politically volatile country 

This comes less than two months after the perennial opposition leader swore himself in as the “People’s President” on  30th January. Is Kenya at a new crossroad? Or is it  deja vu?

Ten years ago, Odinga stood on the same steps at Harambe house pledging similar with the then President Mwai Kibaki. But as Kenyatta in his speech below says,  more detailed statement will follow to explain “what formulates this new beginning that we seek to start,” Kenyans have to perhaps wait-and-see.

 

“I have taken great pleasure this morning in welcoming my brother Raila to Harambee House where – as he has clearly indicated – we have had an opportunity for an extensive discussion on matters Kenya and we have come to a common understanding, an understanding that this country of Kenya is greater than any one individual. And for this country to come together, leaders must come together.

Leaders must be able to discuss their differences, leaders must be able to discuss freely and openly what ails our country, what is the reason and the cause for the ethnic divisions and frictions that we see across the country that sometimes lead to inter-communal conflicts.

As we have seen in various parts of our country, as we have seen up in Wajir, as we have seen on the borders of West Pokot and Marakwet and many other places.

So we have a responsibility as leaders to be able to come together to discuss these issues and to find solutions. Solutions that will bind our people together; that will unify our country, and that will give us a life cycle that is beyond the five years that we have established for ourselves.

Elections come and go but Kenya remains; so as we plan ourselves for the future, our future cannot be dictated by the forthcoming elections. Our future must be dictated by the prosperity, stability of our nation and the well-being of our people.

we have come to a common understanding, an understanding that this country of Kenya is greater than any one individual. And for this country to come together, leaders must come together.

Democracy is not, as has often been said, an end in itself. It is just a process by which the will of the people is heard. But the national good, the national interest must always prevail over those elections.

And this is why me and my brother (Raila) have agreed that starting today, we will begin a process of bringing our people together. That, we will begin a process of discussing what ails us and what creates divisions amongst us. And we look forward to the support of every single leader.

We look forward to the support every single Kenyan so that we can build together a united, harmonious, stable nation where no individual feels left out or left behind.

Elections come and go but Kenya remains…my brother (Raila) have agreed that starting today, we will begin a process of bringing our people together…That, we will begin a process of discussing what ails us and what creates divisions amongst us.

So to me, this marks a new beginning for our country, a beginning in which we hope that we shall march together as Kenyans and that we can differ in terms of political alignments but always remain steadfast and united in matters Kenya.

With those few and brief remarks, a more detailed statement will be given to all of you to be able to read and to understand what formulates this new beginning that we seeks to start.

We thank you for finding time to join us and as my brother (Raila) has said, we look forward to you to be our partners to create this new Kenya.”

 

 

 

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Written by Regina Jane Jere

reGina Jane Jere is a Zambian-born London-based journalist and founding Editor of the New African Woman magazine the sister-publication of the New African magazine of which she was the Deputy Editor for over a decade. The mother of two juggles a wide-range of editorial and managerial duties, but she has particular passion on women’s health, education, rights and empowerment. She is also a former Zambian correspondent for Agence France Presse, and a former Africa Researcher at Index on Censorship. She writes extensively on a wide range of issues, from politics to women’s rights, media and free speech to beauty and fashion.

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