Leaders converged at the annual national prayer breakfast in Nairobi at Safari Park as the issues of national peace, unity and reconciliation were openly discussed. Led by President Uhuru Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto, Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka, the bonds of pledged peace and unity were tightened as they issued apologies to each other and all other Kenyans, as the path of recovery stretches on after the much disputed elections last year.
In his address, President Uhuru Kenyatta said Kenya has had many shortcomings as a country but we’ve had great successes too and leaders need to bring the country together to see the success multiply. He said there is the need for leaders to repent and forgive one another, “Let’s not see forgiveness as a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of great strength,” he said.
The President said given that the country is a democracy, people will never always agree on everything, “We will have differences in terms of political opinion. Today, let’s say those differences shall never ever be allowed to cause bloodshed, destruction of property in our land,” he said, “We can agree to disagree and move forward.” He added that the challenges faced by Kenyans are huge and there is a need for leaders to agree and move forward to solve pertinent challenges, including quality healthcare, adequate housing, access to electricity and good and decent jobs.
His sentiments were supported by Raila Odinga, who said never again shall any Kenyan die because of an election, and never again shall any Kenyan deprive a fellow Kenyan of his birthright because of an election. The former Prime Minister said the two of them had a very long discussion, and they took a journey down memory lane to trace where the problems started for the country, “We found out where and when and we said we have the ability of working together to go back and reunite the people of Kenya. The divisions, hatred and tensions that existed between our people for all those generations to now will end with the two of us,” said Raila, referring to his handshake between him and President Kenyatta.
He added that the popular handshake covers more than just a united front to re-establishing peace and unity in the country, but also affirms there commitment to tackling corruption. “We will fight corruption together,” he affirmed, “We are committed to ensure the handshake and the MoU we signed shall be fulfilled.”
Other leaders who were present apart from the aforementioned four included Chief Justice David Maraga, Speaker Justin Muturi, Majority Leader Aden Duale, among others. Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, who is in an official visit to the country, was also present. The guest speaker at the event was Lord Dr. Micheal Hastings from the United Kingdom. There was a also a delegation of leaders from the United States of America, Europe and Africa, notably Uganda National Assembly Speaker Rebecca Kadaga.