Hugs, handshakes, and more hugs: The prayer breakfast bromance

Thursday May 31 2018

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday morning led Kenyans in observing a national prayer event at Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi.

Mr Kenyatta was joined by his deputy William Ruto, opposition leader Raila Odinga, Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka, Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi among other leaders.

During the event, President Kenyatta apologised and hugged Mr Odinga over what he said were mean words said during the highly charged 2017 presidential election campaigns.

In the most recent escalation of their March 9 handshake, President Kenyatta led Mr who also apologised to and hugged Mr Odinga’s running mate, Mr Musyoka.

“We have campaigned against each other, we have said nasty things against each other, and we have hurt each other. On my behalf, my brother Raila, I ask you for forgiveness, and I tender my apology,” President Kenyatta said after finishing up his speech.

He had called Mr Ruto to the stage after he was done, and had asked him to come with Mr Odinga and Mr Musyoka. And when his aides moved to remove his lectern, he ushered them back, saying he wanted to say something, and needed the microphone for it.


And even though he had prepared the audience with jokes about the handshake with Mr Odinga, no one in the audience seemed actually to see the four men bury the hatchet, apologise to each other, and seal it with warm embraces.

When it was Mr Ruto’s turn, he appeared to have been caught off-guard, telling the president he had expected  him to do it on all their behalves.

“I want to say to my brother Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka, for all the things I said, or did, I want to ask forgiveness, and in following with the president, tender my apology,” he said, extending his hand to Mr Musyoka for the embrace.

Mr Odinga apologised on behalf of all members of the National Super Alliance, and on his own behalf, asked President Kenyatta for forgiveness.

“I tender my apology to my brother. I told him he called me mundu muguruki (mad man). And on behalf of Nasa, we want to say that these divisions will end with us,” said Mr Odinga.

Mr Musyoka said: “My brother William, you are hustler Number One. I forgive you.”

The former vice-president, like Mr Odinga before him, promised to support President Kenyatta’s fight against corruption.

Thursday’s prayer breakfast is the sixteenth edition of the event aimed at uniting Kenyans in prayer.

This year's edition is co-chaired by Senator Samwel Poghisio (West Pokot), and Kiambaa MP Paul Koinange.

It was the sixteenth edition of the event aimed at uniting Kenyans in prayer.