NAIROBI KENYA (Malawian Watchdog)–From shunning elections to conducting own swearing ceremony, Kenya’s veteran Politician Raila Odinga have mended fence with incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta.
National Super Alliance (Nasa) leader Odinga and President Kenyatta on Friday morning held a surprise meeting at Harambee House in Nairobi. Details of what they have agreed remain sketchy but sources indicate that President Uhuru Kenyatta may draft Odinga into government to uplift Kenya together.
Here is Mr Odinga’s full statement following the meeting and thereafter, President Kenyatta’s statement.
In the life of any nation, a time comes when the people and their leaders must audit the progress made towards the attainment of the goals and prayers laid out at the founding of the nation.
Abraham Lincoln said… “If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could then better judge what to do, and how to do it.”
When such times come, the leaders entrusted to secure the goals; in our case; justice, unity, peace, liberty and prosperity for all; have a duty to reflect on their performance in the search for these hallowed goals.
Such a time has come for Kenya.
Fifty four years into independence, we are challenged to audit our progress towards the ideals for which our fathers fought to establish a free and independent country and for which many of our compatriots died.
We, the leaders are equally summoned to reflect on our performance towards the achievement of our nation’s aspirations.
This audit and introspection has been a long coming.
Throughout our independence history, we have had doubts on how we have conducted our affairs in the face of growing divide along ethnic, religious and political lines. Regrettably, we have responded to our challenges by mostly running away from them.
We have moved from year to year, election to election, never pausing to deal with the challenges that our diversity was always going to pose to our efforts to create a prosperous and united nation. Consequently, the ties that bind us are today under the severest stress.
Our diversity appears destined to be a curse to ourselves today and to our children tomorrow.
In the past, we have given a lot of attention to institutional reforms in the hope that these could lift us to the next level of nationhood and make us a blessed land.
Seven and a half years ago, we gave to ourselves a new Constitution. We put our faith in it as the instrument to revolutionize our nation. In this and many other ways, we created some of the best hardware any country has ever possessed to engineer their affairs.
We must be courageous enough to admit that it has not worked. It has failed because we are yet to upgrade our software. We have been pouring new wine into old wine skins. The Gospel tells us that new wine needs new wine skins.
The time has come for us to confront and resolve our differences. These differences are becoming too entrenched.
No two Kenyans agree on the origins of the differences and what they portend.
Millions of our children continue to be born and married into these differences. People are dying out of these differences.
Many of these differences are already well entrenched in the third generation of Kenyans and are currently leaking into the fourth generation in primary and secondary schools.
Yet in many instances, Kenyans cannot remember why and where they disagreed in the first place.
As we fight ostensibly to save ourselves from each other, the reality is, we need to save our children from ourselves.
My brother and I have therefore come together today to say this descent stops here.
We refuse to allow our diversity to kill our nation. We refuse to be the leaders under whose watch Kenya slid into a failed nation.
This is a call to self-reflection. We have to look into ourselves and challenge our readiness to make the changes that will allow our institutional reforms to work.
So long as we remain divided, acrimonious, selfish and corrupt, no amount of institutional reform will better our lives.
The reform process will become an exercise in diverting attention from our own failings and taking refuge in blame game.
We therefore seek your partnership in this initiative fellow Kenyans. We are all sailing in this one ship. We must come together to scoop out the water that has been sipping in or we shall capsize.
We have travelled too far to turn back.
We would never make it back to the shore.
Yet, we can’t make it to our destination either. Our only option is to come together and scoop out these waters of animosity that we have been pouring into the boat before we all sink.
Once again, as Lincoln said… “The result is not doubtful. We shall not fail — if we stand firm, we shall not fail.
God Bless Kenya.
Raila Odinga; EGH
Here is Mr Kenyatta’s statement in full.
Good Afternoon everybody,
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.