After a heavily contested election in 2017, President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga chose to save the country from the brink of the abyss. Kenya’s death would have meant endless violence, loss of life and wanton destruction of property just in the name of ‘power’.
Being truly their fathers’ , Kenyatta and Odinga knew very well that the blame would fall squarely on them and not their fathers if they failed to unite Kenyans.
Kenya was going to the dogs and everyone was speaking at each other, not to one another. The country was divided right down the middle and the unhealthy talk of secession had started to gain ground. The swearing-in of Odinga on January 30, as the ‘People’s President’; made matters worse and heightened tension. Talk of Kitaeleweka and Watajua Hawajui was the only language Odinga’s supporters understood.
The Kumira Kumira slogan of October 26, 2017, that was used to rally Kenyatta’s supporters to vote in the repeat presidential election had been swallowed by the song of Tumechoka na teargas, tunataka bomb.
Most parts of Nairobi and Opposition strongholds smelt death. There was smoke and dust all over and investors started running away, leading to the collapse of the shilling against the dollar.
Kenya was not Kenya anymore. Something needed to be done. And only the wisdom of Kenyatta and Odinga could save the situation. And indeed, it did.
It is almost a year since the Handshake and the country is relatively calm and the economy picking up creditably. Tourists have been flocking into the country and enjoying the peaceful atmosphere. However, the continuing political bickering and politics of a General Election that is 1,450 days away is killing this climax.
Some politicians are expressing doubts over what the Handshake is meant to achieve. Some claim it is a knife being sharpened to chop off the meat from the mouth of the Deputy President William Ruto, who wants to run for President in 2022. Others feel it is about Odinga positioning himself for another stab at the Presidency in 2022.
The political temperatures being heightened by the political class and returning Kenyans to election mode are all the work of doubting Thomases. They have refused to believe that indeed there will come a time when the interest of the nation will be greater than that of any individual.
The unity of Kenya is of more importance than anyone else’s ambition.
When the country is in election mode all the time, chances of its progress diminish. If all leaders will unite, put aside their ambitions and wait for the right time to politick and work for the people, Kenya will ready itself to compete with other Third World countries that are determined to grow.
Leaders should be working hard to instill in their people hope for success and belief in themselves. Positive leaders empower people to accomplish their goals.