Handshake will end divisive politics, Uhuru, Raila say

Wednesday March 18 2020

President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga during the burial service of former chairman of the Youth Enterprise Development Fund Bruce Odhiambo in Koru, Kisumu on January 19, 2019. PHOTO | TONNY OMONDI | NATION MEDIA GROUP


President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday assured Kenyans that his handshake with opposition leader Raila Odinga will ensure no Kenyan community is disenfranchised from the country’s governance.

President Kenyatta who shared a podium with the ODM leader in Koru, Kisumu County, promised that their aim was to unite Kenyans by ensuring an all-inclusive government.

Speaking during the burial of former chairman of Youth Enterprise Development Fund Bruce Odhiambo, the Head of State noted that the "winner takes it all" style of governance is the source of conflicts and hostilities between communities.


"Going forward, we don't want to have a situation where a section of Kenyans will feel left out after their candidates don’t make it to the top position," he said.

"The unity pact between Mr Odinga and I was meant to ensure that all Kenyans become part of the government to enhance unity and peaceful coexistence,” added Mr Kenyatta.


The President urged Kenyans not to accept being divided into tribal cocoons by selfish politicians who are only focused on 2022 General Election.

He said Kenyans are facing similar challenges which need to be addressed irrespective of who gets elected into office.

"Kenya is more important than any individual and no region should be left out as the government plans to implement projects across the country without discrimination," he added.

The President also expressed commitment that they will implement permanent solutions to address the problems bedevilling the sugar sector, which is the source of livelihood for many in western Kenya.

He assured farmers that the government will pay them their Sh2.7 billion arrears as soon as the supplementary budget is passed.

"Farmers will be paid directly and not through the millers to avoid diversion of money," he said.


Mr Odinga reiterated the need for politicians to stop early campaigns for 2022, saying Kenyans need to see development projects.

"It is time for the government to work and initiate development programmes that they promised Kenyans during the campaigns. This can only be realised in an environment free of politics and blackmail," he said.

The orange party leader assured his supporters that they will start seeing the fruits of the 'handshake' which was initiated by President Kenyatta and himself.

"We just launched the cleanup exercise for Lake Victoria and opened the Kisumu port the other day and more is yet to come," he told mourners who gathered at Dr Robert Ouko Primary School in Muhoroni sub county.

Mr Odinga, who prompted President Kenyatta to address the challenges facing the sugar sector, said the move will support thousands of farmers who depend on the cash crop.

“Many farmers have been frustrated by the declining performance of state millers and something should be done to address their plight once and for all," he said.

The late Mr Odhiambo who was diagnosed with low blood pressure in the early 1990s succumbed to the ailment on January 7 and was buried at his Koru home.

He has left behind two children and a grandson.