UN boss welcomes President Kenyatta, Raila unity pact

Written By: Collins Anampiu/Margaret Kalekye

The two leaders held a surprise meeting at Harambee House last Friday

The United Nations has lauded President Uhuru Kenyatta and NASA leader Raila Odinga’s efforts to initiate dialogue as a way of uniting Kenyans.

In a statement, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said UN will continue to support and work with the Government and the people of Kenya in efforts towards consolidating peace, stability and development in the country.

Guterres welcomed the statement issued jointly by President Kenyatta and Odinga last Friday declaring their commitment to work together to strengthen the unity of the country for all Kenyans saying it was a great step towards finding a lasting solution to Kenya’s political problems.

“We welcome the statement issued jointly by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga on 9 March 2018 declaring their commitment to work together to strengthen the unity of the country for all Kenyans,” Guterres said in a statement.

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The Orange Democratic Movement has become the first constituent party under NASA to ratify Friday’s political pact between its party leader Raila Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The latest development coming even as cracks within the coalition appeared to widen with power struggles manifesting in the national assembly.

The party which met Tuesday under the guidance of its leader Raila Odinga however urged him to stay focused ahead of the 2022 general election.

The two leaders held a surprise meeting at Harambee House last Friday and reached a pact that brought an end to the 2017 electoral contest.

Among the issues the two leaders plan to tackle include ethnic friction and competition, lack of national ethos and corruption.

The goals are inclusivity, effective devolution, safety and security, shared prosperity and respect for human and civil rights.

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Addressing the Press after they held talks, President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga said time has come for the country to stop allowing political differences to cause frictions and divisions.

President Kenyatta pointed out that for the country to come together, leaders should discuss their differences freely and openly to end ethnic divisions.

“Elections come and go but Kenya remains; so as we must plan for the future – a future that will not 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,” President Kenyatta said.

Mr Odinga said 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 that we need to save our children from ourselves. My brother (President Kenya) and myself have, therefore, come together today to say this dissent stops here,” Mr Odinga said.

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He emphasized that Kenyans must refuse to allow their diversity to kill their nation.

“We refuse to be the leaders under whose watch Kenyans lead 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,” the opposition leaders said.

Mr Odinga pointed out that as long as the country remained divided, acrimonious, selfish and corrupt, no amount of institutional reforms will improve the lives of Kenyans.

“The reform process will become an exercise in diverting attention from our own failing and taking refuge in the blame game. We, therefore, seek your partnership in this initiative. Fellow Kenyans, we are sailing in this one ship,” Mr Odinga said.

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