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NASA, Jubilee unite to back political ceasefire

By Roselyne Obala and Moses Nyamori | Published Thu, March 15th 2018 at 00:00, Updated March 14th 2018 at 23:53 GMT +3
President Uhuru Kenyatta with former Prime Minister Raila Odinga when they agreed to unite and work together. [Photo/Standard]

In a rare show of unity, the ruling party and Opposition politicians welcomed the new-found unity between arch-rivals President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga.

Lawmakers in both the Senate and National Assembly yesterday heaped praise on the reconciliation effort between the two, citing biblical and historical references.

The handshake between Uhuru and Raila last Friday has caused several shifts, culminating in the first unifying debate in the two houses since the divisive August 8, 2017 polls and repeat presidential election on October 26.

Future decorum

The lawmakers were united in calling for reconciliation and future decorum.

They revisited the need to amend the Constitution, arguing that it had not cured past political differences that resulted in political standoffs.

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They pushed for an independent Parliament and Judiciary, saying it was the only way to resolve some of the challenges facing the country.

The lawmakers dismissed the notion that the two leaders entered into a deal to form Government or that their unity sealed a 2022 presidential election pact.

Setting the stage for the discussions, National Super Alliance (NASA) co-chairman Senator James Orengo (Siaya) moved the motion signalling a new Kenya dubbed ‘building bridges to a new Kenyan nation’.

The senators described the unity between Raila and Uhuru as a bold step and hailed the two as statesmen.

Show leadership

“I congratulate the two leaders for finding it fit to show leadership in the name of Kenya. They showed wisdom towards resolving problems through a historic meeting and Kenyans are happy as the country is headed in the right direction,” said Mr Orengo while moving the bipartisan motion.

Senate Leader of Minority Moses Wetang'ula (Bungoma) said this was a moment of lucidity for Kenya.

“I hail the two leaders for beating the odds and leading the nation. On behalf of the other (NASA) principals, since we are like congenital twins, we are in full support,” said Mr Wetang'ula.

In the National Assembly, Leader of Majority Aden Duale (Garissa Township) and his Minority counterpart John Mbadi (Suba South) clarified that the new-found rapport between Uhuru and Raila was not a political merger but a pact to unite the divided country.

Mr Mbadi said the agreement was to achieve reforms, support devolution and compensate victims of election violence.

Moving the motion to support the Uhuru-Raila pact, Mbadi declared that the Orange Democratic Party (ODM) party would support Jubilee's 'Big Four' agenda of manufacturing, universal healthcare, affordable housing and food security.

Senators Mutula Kilonzo Jr (Makueni), Enock Wambua (Kitui), Margaret Kamar (Uasin Ngishu), Sam Ongeri (Kisii) and Ledama ole Kina (Narok) also supported the Uhuru-Raila unity.

Deputy Speaker Kithure Kindiki (Tharaka Nithi) said Uhuru and Raila should be honoured for showing true leadership.

Meeting inspired

Leader of Majority Kipchumba Murkomen (Elgeyo Marakwet) noted that what the country witnessed was not just a meeting made by men but one inspired by God.

“Raila took a bold step to sit with the President with no conditions,” he said.

Kitui Central MP Makali Mulu (Wiper), Omboko Milemba (Emuhaya) and Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa (Ford Kenya) said their parties supported the unity pact but called for all-inclusive and structured discussions.


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