Listen to opposition, Kibaki urges Uhuru

By: JAMES NGUNJIRI

Former President Mwai Kibaki has asked the government to listen to its opponents despite their differences.

The retired President, who was known for his stoic silence even in the face of criticism by the Opposition, said there is no harm in listening to people who dislike you.

During his term and with the opposition continuously criticising him, Mr Kibaki offered them the stage at Nairobi’s Nyayo Stadium ‘to say what they wanted to say about him’.

His advice, during the burial of Othaya MP Mary Wambui’s sister, on Thursday, came two days after another former president, Daniel arap Moi visited State House.

Sources said Mr Moi, who was accompanied by former Cabinet minister Nicholas Biwott, may have taken a similar message to President Uhuru Kenyatta.

“People should learn to listen to each other,” said Mr Kibaki.

Speaking in Kikuyu, the former president said: “Even that person who does not like you, just listen to him, he might say a word which may be of help to you”.

Mr Kibaki seemed to have been responding to an appeal by Juja MP Francis Munyua Waititu who asked him to advise the Jubilee government on how he dealt with the Opposition.

The Juja MP noted that President Kibaki used to keep quiet and perform, adding that the current government was being attacked even when it keeps quiet.

“Mzee Kibaki had that gift of being silent. But when we keep quiet we are being abused from morning till evening, and that’s why we have agreed as MPs that we shall be consulting him on how to deal with such matters currently facing us,” said Mr Waititu.

The MP condemned the opposition for constantly criticising President Kenyatta over Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru and the war on corruption.

Mr Kibaki also said: “If someone is not able or cannot serve the country diligently, they should just turn to God and pray for that person. This is how we shall even earn blessings. As Kenyans, we must fully commit ourselves to God and ask him to help us and listen to our prayers.”

THREAT TO DEVELOPMENT

Othaya MP Mary Wambui urged opposition leaders to give those in power a chance.

Nyeri Senator Mutahi Kagwe urged local county leaders to stop wrangles for the sake of development.

“We are supposed to work together so that Nyeri can prosper,” said Mr Kagwe.

The senator said the current wrangles amongst elected leaders in the county are a threat to development.

Ms Wambui said her sister, Anne Wakarima Wambugu, was always close to President Kibaki.

“My sister used to campaign for Kibaki. I know the retired president now feels pained by the loss,” said Ms Wambui.

The retired president spoke for about 13 minutes in Kikuyu and Kiswahili languages.

Cord leader Raila Odinga has accused President Kenyatta of failing to deal head-on with the critical issues facing the country.

Opposition leaders have denied government and International Monetary Fund figures that the economy is growing.

The Opposition has also been complaining that the government is over-borrowing, overspending and ‘over-stealing’.

On Thursday, Western diplomats threatened to slap visa bans on government officials implicated in corruption.

President Kenyatta, on Thursday, agreed to set up a joint committee with the private sector to help fight the vice.

Jubilee MPs accuse the Opposition of not respecting the President and his deputy William Ruto.

SOURCE: DAILY NATION