State of the Nation Address: Uhuru recalls how Raila, Mudavadi introduced him to parliament
President Uhuru Kenyatta has recalled how former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and former Cabinet Minister Musalia Mudavadi welcomed him to Parliament for the first time.
While delivering his 8th State of the Nation Address at Parliament buildings on Tuesday, November 30, Uhuru said that the two introduced him to Parliament’s chambers after he was nominated to the August House in October 2001.
“I first served as a Nominated MP introduced into this chamber by the Honorable Raila Odinga and Honorable Musalia Mudavadi and later as a Cabinet Minister,” Uhuru said.
The president further stated that after an unsuccessful presidential bid in 2002, he found himself on the opposition benches as the leader of the opposition and Member of Parliament for Gatundu South.
“Five years later, I was called to serve as Deputy Prime Minister in the grand coalition government under the former President Mwai Kibaki and the Honorable former Prime Minister Raila Odinga,” he said.
In that administration, Uhuru said he held two positions as the Minister of Trade and later the Minister of Finance.
“This journey of mixed fortunes taught me that you could serve your country in any capacity because service is not a position, it is action,” the Head of State further said.
“It also taught me to have empathy for both sides of the parliamentary divide and indeed all shades of political opinion. Of all the lessons, the enduring one is that Kenya is always greater than any one of us,” Uhuru said.
The Head of State further said that in times of great political turmoil, men and women must be spurred by the love of their country to bridge partisan divides and to come together to put Kenya first.
“It is not always easy but, Honorable members, it is necessary. Then as now, we are called upon to do all that is necessary to heal Kenya, to build bridges and to focus on the 99% of shared visions of a better Kenya as a priority to the 1% of differing ideologies and positions,” he said.