President Uhuru Kenyatta of neighboring Kenya this morning sat down in a meeting with his political opponent Raila Odinga.
This is the first time since their fallout following the contested August 8, 2017 general election and October 26, 2017 repeat presidential poll that Odinga boycotted, Chimpreports.
“The country is greater than any one individual”, said President Kenyatta, while holding a brief joint press conference, after a meeting with Odinga. “We agreed, that for this country to come together, leaders must come together,” he said.
“Leaders must be able to discuss their differences and to discuss freely and openly what ails our country, what is the reason for the ethnic divisions and frictions as we see across the country.”
“We have a responsibility as leaders to come together and discuss these issues and to find solutions that will bind our people together, that will unify our country and give us a lifecycle as a people that is beyond the five years that we have established for ourselves.”
Last year’s contested elections were feared to cause a repeat of the 2007 violent election aftermath in which hundreds of lives were lost in ethnic clashes.
But according to Kenyatta, he and Odinga agreed that elections must not be allowed to determine the future of Kenya.
“Elections come and go by Kenya remains. Our future cannot be dictated by the forthcoming elections but by the prosperity and stability of our nation and the wellbeing of our people.”
‘Me and my brother, towards a united, harmonious and stable nation’
He added, “Me and my brother agreed that starting today, we will begin a process of bringing our people together to discuss what ails us and creates division amongst us.
“We look forward to the support of every single leader, every single Kenyan so that we can build together a united, harmonious, stable nation where no individual feels left out.
“This marks a beginning of a new country in which we shall march together as Kenya; and that we can defer in political alignment but remain steadfast and united in matters Kenya.”
On the other hand, US has urged African countries (including Kenya) to take precautions when going for Chinese loans. Speaking during his diplomatic tour to Africa, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said it was important for African countries to carefully consider terms of agreement before taking loans from China.
He, however, clarified that Washington was not trying to stop Beijing from supporting African countries, as US remains the leading donor of humanitarian aid to the continent, China is currently considered Africa’s biggest trading partner.
The latest move by US could be seen as an attempt by Washington to improve its relationship with African countries after Trump’s offensive ’shithole’ remarks.