Uhuru, Raila set to deliver talk on Handshake in US, February

Monday, January 20th, 2020 09:46 |

President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga have been invited to a conference in the US to deliver a talk on the Handshake.

This comes after Raila received a similar invite from Togo last month, to help bring together the government and warring opposition.

Speaking at a BBI public consultative meeting held at Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega on Saturday, Raila said the March 9, 2018 Handshake has earned respect globally and they have been invited by other countries to share an experience centred on transformation.

“This time round we have been invited together with my brother Uhuru to Washington, for a national prayer breakfast between February 4 and 6,” he said.

The former premier said the world has hailed the Handshake, saying the move was a good example and unique globally.

At the same time, Raila said he and President Uhuru Kenyatta are on a mission to forestall long-lasting peace and unity in the country and not political power.

Raila states that the question of who becomes President in 2022 is not a matter that pre-occupies his mind or that of Uhuru but cohesion and prosperity of the nation.

Speaking on Saturday, when he led top government officials, 15 governors, 10 senators, 60 MPs and a host of MCAs to drum up support for the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) taskforce report, Raila said the initiative is not aimed at securing top positions for him and Uhuru as alleged by critics but safeguarding prosperity.

Deputy President William Ruto’s allies have been claiming Raila is using the BBI and the historic March 9, 2018 Handshake to advance his political interests and scuttle Ruto’s 2022 presidential bid.

Raila, who conveyed Uhuru’s goodwill message, said their main goal is a stable Kenya devoid of divisive politics and they “may not necessarily be there” to enjoy the fruits of the initiative when Kenyans get to the mountain top.

Well governed

“Nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come. Time for BBI has come. We want a solution for posterity. That’s why we have the BBI,” he said. 

“We want to transform Kenya because we have had a new Constitution and it seems not to be working for us,” he added.

The ODM leader said despite having a new constitution for almost a decade, Kenya still has teething problems which are not limited to electoral injustices and violence but they are focused on finding lasting solutions to these and other challenges that slow prosperity.

 “Something is amiss in our governance structure. What we are doing is not for today or tomorrow, or just 2022 politics.

2022 is an event that will come and go but we want to have a resolution for prosperity,” Raila said.

Quoting Martin Luther King, Raila said: “I have been to the mountain top, seen the glory land, I am not sure whether I will get there together with you  but together we will get there.

“I know there is a solution and we will get to our destination. I have seen gold land, what I am doing with Uhuru is for prosperity of this country.

It is not for Raila Odinga. Raila Odinga does not have to be the President of Kenya, but Kenya must have a good president,” he added.

He said his interest is to see Kenya led by a person of integrity and high standing in the society, adding that he and Uhuru must put in place structures that will ensure Kenya is well governed.

Refute claims

ANC party leader Musalia Mudavadi said he is ready for any political arrangement that will ensure the country gets the right president.

Mudavadi, who attended the Bukhungu BBI meeting despite having indicated that he would not, said he wanted to be part of the discussion on issues affecting Kenyans.

He and Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula had claimed the BBI rallies were meant to benefit some people for 2022 political arithmetic.

““Even if I don’t become President or Premier, Kenyans must have food on their own tables and sit with pride,” he added.

Mudavadi, however, refuted claims he did not support the BBI fully. “ ... I have never rejected BBI. Who are you to wake up and say Musalia amekataa (has rejected) BBI?” he asked.

Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) secretary general Francis Atwoli asked both Mudavadi and Wetang’ula to fold up their parties and forge an alliance to demonstrate their seriousness about the Luhyia community’s unity.

“Musalia should ditch his Ruto associations. You are an economist but you will not change this country’s economy with those roadside statements you make. You need to be in government,” he said. 

While stating that Mudavadi was the undisputed Luhya leader, Atwoli said he must take bold steps to revive his friendship with Uhuru if he is to achieve any political milestones.

More on National