‘Forgive me,’ President Kenyatta pleads with Kenyans


‘Forgive me,’ President Kenyatta pleads with Kenyans
President Uhuru Kenyatta delivers his State of the Nation address from Parliament buildings on May 2 2018.

In Summary

  • Speaking while delivering his State of the Nation address from Parliament buildings on Wednesday afternoon, Kenyatta preached reconciliation and deemed it fit as president to lead from the front-line.
  • Kenyatta further urged all leaders to apologize to each other for all the harsh words that were traded during the political period

President Uhuru Kenyatta has asked Kenyans and fellow politicians to forgive him if he said or did anything hurtful during the 2017 presidential campaign.

Speaking while delivering his State of the Nation address from Parliament buildings on Wednesday afternoon, Kenyatta preached reconciliation and deemed it fit as president to lead from the front-line.

“Since leadership is best done by example, not by extorting, let me do as I have asked you all to do today and say that if there’s anything I said last year that hurt or wounded you, if I damaged the unity of the country in any way, I ask you to forgive me and to join me in repairing that harm,” said President Kenyatta.

Kenyatta further urged all leaders to apologise to each other for all the harsh words that were traded during the political period saying; “Last year taught us, taught me… that if we don’t put an end to unrestrained political competition, it will put an end to Kenya.”

“Let us each apologise for our words and for the anger and malice that Kenyans had. From Mandera to Maseno, from Mbita to Mvita, from Lodwar to Lungalunga, let us shake hands and embrace our neighbours,” he added.

The Jubilee leader also commended opposition leader Raila Odinga’s “statesmanship” for accepting to get into the unity pact with him for the betterment of the country.

“I am not the only leader that felt the need to restore unity; the Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga did so too. So let me praise the statesmanship he showed when on March 9 this year we publicly committed to reconciliation with the Kenyan people as our witness,” he said.

Kenyatta noted that the handshake between himself and the former Prime Minister was not because they agreed on politics or policies but because they agreed that “Kenya is greater and belongs to all of us.”

“Our handshake invited Kenyans to rediscover what they have known all along; when all the politics is said and done, we are each other’s keeper and we are stronger together.”

President Kenyatta also addressed challenges on the use of public resources acknowledging that a few individuals had fraudulently and corruptly diverted public resources to benefit themselves.

He, however, assured Kenyans that his administration was actively fighting the vice.

“Last year, ill-gotten public assets valued at approx Ksh.500 million were recovered, and civil proceedings were instituted for the preservation and recovery of other assets valued at more than Ksh.6 billion.”

The Commander-in-Chief also touched on devolution in his State of the Nation address saying it was “no longer a baby” but “an established framework for governing and delivering public services.”

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