Kenya's president, opposition leader vow to forge unity, heal nation

11 March, 2018, 01:50 | Author: Marjorie Miles
  • Raila Odinga with President Uhuru Kenyatta

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday met opposition leader Raila Odinga, vowing to end rivalry which led to the deaths of 100 people in elections past year.

The election season blunted growth in Kenya, East Africa's richest economy and a Western ally in a volatile region.

Mr Odinga's and Mr Kenyatta's fathers were allies in the struggle for Kenya's independence from British colonial rule and then became adversaries. "With a fast-growing GDP ... a vibrant culture of entrepreneurship, and a regional economic leader, we are eager to find more ways to work with you".

They referred to each other as "brother" and told Kenyans of their resolve to quash their differences and heal Kenya. "Elections come and go but Kenya remains".

Friday's breakthrough came just hours before U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's first official visit Kenya.

Before Friday's meeting, the two men had defied calls from Kenyan civil society, religious leaders and Western diplomats to hold talks to overcome deep divisions opened up by the disputed elections.

Kulanka dib Uhuru Kenyatta iyo Raila Odinga ayaa si wada jir ah ula hadlay saxaafadda ka isla markaana balan qaaday in ay bilaabayaan geedi socod dib u heshiisiinta.

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Political analyst and writer Patrick Gathara said such a dialogue is still needed despite Friday's meeting.

"I can state that the meeting was between two people and does not bear the imprint of NASA summit as it ought to be". "We refuse to allow our diversity to kill our nation".

The senator who is also the senate majority leader however faulted the three Nasa Co-principals - Mr Musalia Mudavadi, Mr Kalonzo Musyoka and Mr Moses Wetang'ula - for complaining that they were not consulted.

Madaxweynaha Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta ayaa sheegay in Raila Odinga uu yahay Walaalkii, isla markaana ay billaabayaan geedi socodka ay wada xaajoonayaan halka ay dhibaatada iyo kala qeybsanaanto ka timid. "They have successfully engineered this", said Aly Khan Satchu, an independent analyst in Nairobi.

The Kenyan leader who was sworn in for his second and final term in office on November 28 in 2017 expressed confidence that a healthy collaboration with the opposition will usher in a new era of unity and prosperity.

This article was reported by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.



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