Millennium Post

Sworn enemies now 'Brothers'!

Sworn enemies now Brothers!
Politics in the African continent can often stretch from the sublime to the ridiculous but the two arch Kenyan rivals making peace, as they have, takes the cake. Indeed, when one got elected President, the other refused to concede and congratulate. Instead, he and his supporters had another convention where the President-who-could-have-been was declared "Peoples'President". But the real President stopped the live TV proceedings and matters came to a boil. But, no sooner had the news of US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson visiting Kenya floated in, President Uhuru Kenyatta vowed to begin a process of reconciliation with the opposition leader Raila Odinga after a year of a bitter campaign against each other.
True, the Kenyan political spectrum had experienced an unprecedented deadlock following a Presidential election last year. Kenyatta won the election boycotted by the opposition NASA led by Odinga sparking national unrest. The opposition continued a campaign against Kenyatta and the unrest turned into deadly violence in many parts of the country. More than a hundred people died in the months-long violence between the Kenyan government and the opposition. On 9 March, however, the two key leaders of the conflicting parties met and announced a process of reconciliation shortly before the Tillerson visit. Kenyan President Kenyatta and the opposition Odinga addressed each other as "my brother" during the joint TV address. "Elections come and go but Kenya remains; so as we must plan for the future, a future that will not be dictated by the forthcoming elections. Our future must be dictated by the prosperity, stability of our nation and the well-being of our people," President Kenyatta said.
Odinga said Kenyans "cannot remember why and where they disagreed in the first place".
"As we fight ostensibly to save ourselves from each other, the reality is that we need to save our children from ourselves. This dissent stops here." Kenyans, he had emphasised, must refuse to allow their diversity to kill their nation. "We refuse to be the leaders under whose watch Kenyans lead into a failed nation." Odinga pointed out that as long as the country remained divided, acrimonious, selfish and corrupt, no amount of institutional reforms will improve the lives of Kenyans. "The reform process will become an exercise in diverting attention from our own failing and taking refuge in the blame game. We, therefore, seek your partnership in this initiative. Fellow Kenyans, we are sailing in this one ship." Tillerson, on expected lines, welcomed the steps and praised the leaders for taking a 'very positive step'. Be that as it may, the question remains on what prevented Kenyatta and Odinga from showing such sense and maturity expected of them earlier.

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