Pre-ICC confirmation prayer rallies united Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto

Uhuru Kenyatta and his mother Mama Ngina Kenyatta pray in Gatundu before
he left for The Hague in 2011.

NAIROBI, KENYA: President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto resorted to prayer days before they travelled for their confirmation hearings in The Hague.

After one such prayer rally in Gatundu, former First Lady Mama Ngina Kenyatta blessed the two leaders and smeared oil on their faces as she murmured hearty words.

Kalonzo Musyoka, who was Vice President at the time and present at the prayer meeting, said: "It's not only about Kenya. It's about the entire continent. We hope justice will prevail. We are fighting for peace."

The series of prayer rallies would later became the super glue that stuck them together up to the 2013 ballot under the Jubilee ticket.

A review of their messages shows both leaders spoke of prayer, peace and unity as they dismissed those who challenged their candidature to succeed President Mwai Kibaki. They also used the rallies to strengthen their political base ahead of the General Election.

At the Gatundu prayer meeting, which was one of the early ones, Uhuru expressed confidence about rallying Kenyans together for a common cause on their return. He said the charges they faced were a fabrication and told Kenyans he would be vindicated.

"I have no doubt we shall unite because we love peace. If peace is what makes them want to convict us, even if they do so for 100 years, I will be at peace because we are peace-loving Kenyans," he said.

When they returned, the leaders embarked on another round of prayer rallies that gave them the momentum to pull the political wave to their side. The second phase of the prayer journey started at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, where they were received on landing.

The convoy snaked across the city into Uhuru Park, where a huge crowd had patiently waited since morning.

Addressing the crowd, Ruto said the long journey of unity had begun and asked their supporters to preach the same.

"We agreed we shall go and because the devil will be defeated, we shall come back. Kenya has opened a new chapter. We must unite," he said.

Uhuru faulted those who thought their going to The Hague would mark the end of his unity journey with Ruto.

"When we went (to The Hague), we said God with us, we would go and come back. But now, that is not an issue. We are back to be with fellow Kenyans to build the country," he said.

Addressing the crowd at Uhuru Park, Kalonzo said: "The journey to unite Kenyans has started. We shall not condone anyone whose interest is to disrupt peace."

Uhuru said their (Ruto and his) major objective was to unite the country. "There will be no tribe bigger than the other," he said.

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