Kenyatta, Odinga agree to reconcile after bitter Kenyan election

Glen Norman
March 11, 2018

County Governors, Cabinet Secretaries and Members of Parliament are among those who have expressed optimism that the gesture by the two national leaders is the beginning of national healing and unity.

Kenyatta said they "have a responsibility as leaders to find solutions".

The top USA diplomat went on to stress the importance of an independent media to democracy and said the government should not stifle the media.

Kenyatta said: "We have had the opportunity for extensive discussions and this is why me and my brother [Odinga] have agreed that starting today, we will begin a process of bringing our people together".

While political violence did not come close to that which followed the 2007 vote - when over 1,100 lives were lost - the disputed elections led to the deaths of over 100 people, majority shot by police.

Mr Odinga has said Kenya has never dealt with the challenges "that our diversity (different tribes) was always going to pose to our efforts to create a prosperous and united nation ..."

Speaking at press conference in the capital Narobi, Mr Tillerson also stressed on the USA and Kenya's "shared fight against terrorism", referring to Kenyan troops serving in Somalia.

He announced fierce resistance to Kenyatta's rule that culminated in his mock swearing in as the "people's president" on January 30 at a public park in Nairobi.

Known for his anti-Jubilee policies, Koigi is popular for his scathing attacks and condemnations against the government, a characteristic also shared by the former Prime Minister.

Tillerson will meet both Kenyatta and Odinga.

"It's a really good step towards harmonizing the country", said Brian Wanjoki, a pedestrian.

The announcement came shortly before the arrival of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Kenya.

"As we fight ostensibly to save ourselves from each other, the reality is that we need to save our children from ourselves".

Noting "the economy has been down", Ndung'u said if the two "resolve their issues, well, at least it will show that we are moving forward and the issue to do with the election is it behind us".

Mr Odinga boycotted the repeat election in October, saying adequate electoral reforms had not been made.

That's not a coincidence, said independent political analyst Martin Andati.

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