When we formed Orange Democratic Movement before the 2007 election, our vision was to have a united country.
Our mission resonated with Kenyans and ODM then became a national mass movement. Our efforts at bringing Kenyans together under one umbrella was gradually paying dividends and prospects of ending negative ethnicity looked more promising than ever.
I do not need to remind you of the extent to which tribalism has poisoned our politics. It is common knowledge how this curse has pitted Kenyans against one another; how it has considerably slowed our social and economic progress; and how Kenyans have been enslaved by it.
Therefore in ODM, we were of the view that we had found a vehicle to transform into reality our dream of one united country, basking in the sunshine of peace and harmony.
The chaos that ensued after the 2007 elections led to the formation of the Grand Coalition Government. In that government, we saw an opportunity to play our part in shaping the destiny of this country. Deputy President William Ruto and I spared no effort and resources in our endavour to serve Kenyans. We rolled up our sleeves and tightened out belts because we were under no illusion on the magnitude of the challenges ahead.
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However, hardly had we begun to settle down to work when we realized that the party we had placed some much hope on was never keen on the attainment of the Kenyan dream. We quickly learnt that ODM’s top leadership had other ideas than the ideals that we had forged together and agreed on.
We vowed to soldier on despite many setbacks because we knew what we wanted for our country and our people. We were clear in our vision, resolute in our mission and unwavering on our cherished principles. In fact the roadblocks erected on our path served to embolden our dream of a better Kenya. We recollected the words of Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh who said: “Remember, the storm is a good opportunity for the pine and the cypress to show their strength and their stability”.
When the ODM door was shut, we looked for an alternative avenue where we would serve wananchi better. We formed United Republican Party. This was our new channel from where we would continue the grand project of uniting Kenyans and transforming their living standards.
Our desire was to make URP a home for all Kenyans. We wanted to resurrect the dream of a cohesive nation. URP yearned to seal all the ethnic fault lines.
As URP, we vowed never again would our country travel down that bloody path. We vowed to make every sacrifice to bring Kenyans together, dissolve our differences once and for all and bury down hate, bigotry and prejudices. This is the only way to enable this nation to sit proudly at the high table of civilised nations and stake its rightful claim. Needless to say, unity is the beginning of our journey towards progress and prosperity.
Our foremost agenda has always been to fight poverty and improve the living standards of our people and ensure equality in the sharing of the national cake. We draw inspiration from anti-Apartheid hero and former South African President Nelson Mandela who said “As long as poverty, injustice and gross inequality persist in our world, none of us can truly rest.”
We are glad that our mission in URP resonated with Kenyans. From the beginning, URP had all the attributes of a truly national party. You only need to study the composition of its leadership to prove this.
This is why in the 2013 polls we had a respectable support from many Kenyans from all corners of this great nation. Now we have 10 governors, 10 senators, 76 MPs and about 250 MCAs. These are by no means small figures and they go a long way to show that this is a party that meant business right from inception.
Although on its own URP was a force to reckon with, we were aware the party was perceived to be a Rift Valley outfit. This was partly true as the party had the populous region as its stronghold. To banish this notion of a regional party, we decided to look for like-minded parties to work with.
We found that ally in The National Alliance led by Uhuru Kenyatta. We found TNA leadership having the same outlook and propagating similar principles and policies as us in URP. We could not have found a more compatible partner.
We therefore naturally formed an alliance referred to as Jubilee. For the last four years, we have worked seamlessly in the service of Kenyans.