Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga shake hands at Harambee House. Photo: courtesy
In an unprecedented move, Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta met with NASA coalition leader Raila Odinga.
The two promised to put their differences aside and forge a better Kenya for all.
Here is President Uhuru’s full speech:
First and foremost, 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.
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.
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.
Thank You and God bless you.