President Uhuru Kenyatta has revealed that just like other Kenyans, he was afraid of rival factions after the 2017 General Election.
In particular, Uhuru disclosed that he was mortified at the thought of meeting ODM leader Raila Odinga, who at the time, had refused to concede defeat to him.
Speaking during the launch of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report at Bomas of Kenya Wednesday, the president reminisced the days leading up to the 2018 unity Handshake between Odinga and himself.
“Hiyo hofu mlikua nayo tulikuwa nayo pia (We were also very scared),” Uhuru said.
He went ahead to reveal that the friendship between the two former political rivals was more difficult to achieve than it seems, narrating awkward moments that ensued between them once they were left alone to settle their differences.
According to the head of state, it took 19 hours of discussions between Odinga and himself for the handshake to be born.
Further, Uhuru revealed that the first hours of the discussions were the toughest.
Rais Uhuru Kenyatta: Hata mimi na Raila kukutana haikuwa rahisi, tulikunywa chai karibu dakika 40 hakuna kuongea… baada ya saa 1 hivi ndio tukaanza kuongea. #LeoMashinani #BBIReport pic.twitter.com/Fx64zDB0tj
— KTN News Alerts (@KTNNewsKE) November 27, 2019
This, Uhuru said, was because neither of them could bring themselves to start a candid conversation.
Instead, small talk about the politician’s wives and children dominated close to an hour of their initial discourse, before they were able to delve into the agenda of their meeting.
The President, nevertheless, expressed his delight that out of the situation, a solution to the problems facing the country, in the form of the Handshake and consequently, the BBI report, was born.