22 July 2018

Kenya: Jubilee, ODM Leaders Laud Uhuru, Raila Unity Efforts

Jubilee and ODM leaders yesterday united in their call to President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga not to be distracted by critics of the 'handshake' for the sake of achieving peace and tranquility in the country.

While lauding the two leaders for their efforts to unite Kenyans, the leaders committed to support the Building Bridges initiative to actualise the March 9 handshake.

Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria hailed Mr Odinga for the sacrifice he has undertaken for the country and agreeing to work with President Kenyatta.

DIVISIONS

"It could not have been possible for me and others from Jubilee to come to Nyanza and mingle with the residents like it has happened had it not been for the handshake. The divisions happened because of a silly political divide," he said during a thanks giving ceremony for ICT Principal Secretary Jerome Ochieng' at Kajimbo in Nyakach constituency, Kisumu County.

Mr Kuria pointed out that a lot of people could not believe that Mr Kenyatta and Mr Odinga could work together.

"I sought clarification from Mr Odinga who assured me that the handshake was not about politics of 2022 or awarding positions but bringing Kenyans together," said Mr Kuria who committed to support the initiative.

UNPRECEDENTED

He however challenged the two leaders to embrace all Kenyans and bring on board leaders from across the political divide to achieve the objective of national unity.

Kisumu Senator Fred Outa also termed the new found working relationship between Mr Kenyatta and Mr Odinga as unprecedented.

"In the eleventh Parliament, Mr Kuria and I were like oil and water. What the duo did was beyond our imagination," he said.

He however called on President Kenyatta to support Mr Odinga's presidential bid in 2022 as a fulfillment of political debt between the first President Jomo Kenyatta and his deputy Jaramogi Oginga as well as the one between the ODM leader and former President Mwai Kibaki.

RECIPROCATE

Similar sentiments were echoed by Uriri MP Mark Nyamita and his Nyakach counterpart Aduma Owuor who hosted the event.

But Marakwet West MP William Kisang who is an ally of Mr Ruto called on Mr Odinga to reciprocate the overwhelming support he received from the Kalenjin community in 2007 when he joined forces with Mr Ruto in ODM.

Mr Nyamita while accusing Mr Ruto's supporters of dragging Mr Odinga's name in every issue, said that Mr Ruto should not expect to be handed leadership on a silver platter.

THREATENS KENYANS

"They know very well that Mr Odinga has no powers to evict the people living in Mau Forest but they keep accusing him of the same," he said.

Kiambu Woman Rep Gathoni wa Muchomba and her Dagoretti South counterpart Jon Kiarie also expressed optimism on the handshake.

In the spirit of handshake, Kisumu Deputy Governor Mathews Owili said President Kenyatta is expected to launch universal health coverage in the lakeside town early next month.

"The two leaders should work to fight corruption which threatens to deny Kenyans access to essential services," he said.

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