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The handshake – two years on

By Josh mwangi | March 10th 2020 at 10:28:19 GMT +0300

The handshake came into play because sections of the country had refused to move on after the 2017 elections, according to Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu.

 He believes that before the handshake, Kenya was facing serious civil unrest. We had weekly demos; some county governments were threatening to secede, some people wanted to stop paying taxes, we had some leaders saying they did not recognize Uhuru as President, NASA MPs and Senators were boycotting Parliament, a ‘swearing-in’ etc.

The handshake was supposed to unify Kenyans after a divisive election, move the nation forward, ensure everybody accepted Uhuru Kenyatta as the only president in Kenya, and legitimize Uhuru’s government. It was meant to consolidate government operations and ensure ease of public service operations. It was meant to remind us that elections come and go.

Today - 2 years later - every single objective behind the handshake has been achieved. The country has moved forward; everyone accepts and recognizes Uhuru Kenyatta as the President of Kenya, and that he runs the government. Kenyans are also living together with no hang-ups from 2017. The 2017 election is done & dusted.

The handshake achieved 100% of its objectives.

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However, the handshake also birthed the BBI process. The BBI process is meant to ensure that what happened after the 2017 elections and has happened over and over again, in varying degrees after many other elections, never happen again.

The process is going on. People are speaking. Not everything they are saying is palatable or unifying - but this is what the BBI process is. For we must listen to each other, then decide what to do with what each person is saying if we are going to live harmoniously together under one nation-state, after every election. Again this process is moving along perfectly, and we should be able to have made firm decisions by 2022 when we face the test of another election.

There are new problems that have emerged since the handshake, and related to the handshake. However, the reality is that they aren’t about the handshake or BBI directly; they are about how it affects the political ambitions of some individual politicians that hope to run for president in 2022.

So 24 months later, I personally give the handshake 100% success rate. I also appreciate the BBI process. As for the challenges - I do not see any outside the future political ambitions of one man, and these ambitions cannot determine how we engage on a national issue, whoever he is.

The handshake BBI Raila Odinga Uhuru Kenyatta
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