September 19, 2018

Raila, Uhuru to start countrywide tour to mend broken political ties

President Uhuru Kenyatta exchange pleasantries with opposition leader Raila Odinga at the steps of Harambee House. [www.the-star.co.ke]

President Uhuru Kenyatta plans to visit his political nemesis Raila Odinga’s strongholds in the coming days in a radical move to unite Kenyans and mend broken political ties.

This follows their meeting at Harambee House on Friday where the two leaders pledged to work together.

During their meeting, both Uhuru and Raila acknowledged that the biggest challenge Kenya is grappling with is the ethnic division which they are bent on correcting at every cost.

According to the Star, Uhuru’s first visit will be in Raila’s stronghold of Nyanza. Raila will flank the President on this tour.

Sources close to the arrangement intimate that Uhuru will launch mega projects in Luo Nyanza and that Raila will accompany him to all these functions in his backyard.

“The plan is to visit all Raila strongholds as part of the cohesion efforts. They will also launch grand projects as part of the inclusivity that the two leaders have agreed upon,” the source told the Star.

Raila enjoys unrivaled support from Nyanza. In the August 8 polls, over 90 percent of Nyanza residents voted for him.

In the repeat presidential polls held on October 26, the residents hearkened to his call to boycott the polls. IEBC was forced to cancel polls in the region’s 24 constituencies terming them hostile.

Besides touring Nyanza, Uhuru is also slated to tour Western, Lower Eastern and Coast-all opposition strongholds that supported Raila immensely in the August 8 polls.

Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi who doubles up as ODM Secretary for Political Affairs said the tour is good because it will be the start of addressing marginalization.

“The Luo nation is part and parcel of Kenya. It has not suffered marginalization in isolation; many other regions and communities have similarly faced marginalization of one kind or another. These are some of the historical issues that we must strive to redress as we usher in the new dawn,” said the vocal ODM lawmaker as further quoted by the Star.

However, State House Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu did not confirm if the President will visit opposition strongholds. He only said Uhuru will visit the whole country.

Luo elders had earlier met Kikuyu elders where they extensively discussed how to mend the broken ties that trace back to the post-colonial era when Mzee Jomo Kenyatta led the country and was deputized by Jaramogi Oginga Odinga.

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