NAIROBI– Calls for forgiveness, political tolerance and fighting graft dominated Kenya’s 16th National Prayer Breakfast meeting here Thursday presided over by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The occasion yielded a rare spectacle as key political leaders led by President Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto, shook hands and shared hugs with opposition leaders Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka of the National Super Alliance (NASA).
Kenyatta, in asking for forgiveness, urged leaders to put aside the political differences, for the sake of building the nation. He escalated the by-now famous handshake he exchanged with Odinga two and a half months ago by asking Ruto and former Vice-President Musyoka to join in and embrace unity.
We have campaigned against one another. We have said nasty things about one another. We have hurt one another. On my behalf, I ask for your forgiveness and tender my apology, President Kenyatta said as he hugged Odinga.
The Head of State noted that while Kenya has had many shortcomings, it has also had great successes and its leaders need to bring the country together to multiply those successes.
The President, who was accompanied by First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, said that since Kenya is a democracy, people will never always agree on everything and will from time to time have differences in terms of political opinion, but the differences should never lead to bloodshed and destruction of property.
On the issues that Kenyans agree, the President implored leaders to work together to ensure the national goals are achieved. The challenges facing this country are huge: we still have to ensure we give our people adequate healthcare, adequate housing � surely we can’t disagree on that, he pointed out.
Odinga who tendered his apology on behalf of the NASA coalition said never again shall Kenyans be led to fight against each other because of election.
I want to thank my brother Uhuru Kenyatta on what he has just done and I wanted to mention that when we decided to shake hands we had a very long discussion, we went down the memory lane where it started. Where did the rains began to beat us as Kenyans, said the opposition leader.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK