Uhuru-Raila handshake: One month later


President Uhuru Kenyatta and NASA leader Raila Odinga after a meeting at Harambee House on ...
President Uhuru Kenyatta and NASA leader Raila Odinga after a meeting at Harambee House on Friday, March 9, 2018. PHOTO| PSCU

In Summary

  • Citizen Digital has learnt that the road map on implementation of last month’s pact signified by a handshake between President Kenyatta and Mr. Odinga will be unveiled next week.
  • The committee tasked with crafting the roadmap, co-chaired by Amb. Martin Kimani and Lawyer Paul Mwangi met on Saturday to put final touches on the plan of action.

A month after the Harambee House meeting between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his political nemesis Raila Odinga, delay in unveiling the road map to achieve the nine key issues they outlined in their joint statement has sparked anxiety and uncertainty.

The road map on implementation of last month’s pact signified by a handshake between President Kenyatta and Mr. Odinga will be unveiled next week.

The committee tasked with crafting the roadmap, co-chaired by Amb. Martin Kimani and Lawyer Paul Mwangi met on Saturday to put final touches on the plan of action.

Amb. Kimani told Citizen TV that the President and the opposition leader had been involved in the shaping of the national dialogue agenda, which the joint team wants to be an all-inclusive process, bringing on board all stakeholders.

Kimani disclosed that the roadmap will be unveiled by Thursday next week, and will involve a series of conversations on the 9-point agenda that kenyatta and odinga identified in resolving long standing national challenges.

These include ethnic antagonism and competition, lack of national ethos, inclusivity, devolution, divisive elections, safety and security, corruption, shared prosperity and responsibilities and rights.

While the joint committee holds that the Kenyatta-Odinga handshake had inspired Kenyans to engage despite their political or ethnic differences, and resulted in a calmer country, the political class has been anxious, with the 2022 succession politics kicking off.

Busia Senator Amos Wako, a close ally of Odinga, lifted the lid on the murmurs within the opposition team over the handshake. Wako observed that a month into the pact, neither the national dialogue programme had been rolled out nor launched, and that the situation had created a vacuum for proponents of the status quo.

In a letter to President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga, the former Attorney General expressed fear that key issues raised in the joint statement risked being lost in the 2022 succession dust.

“It is almost one month since you issued the statement and neither the programme has been rolled out nor launched. The foregoing has created a vacuum being filled in by those who think that it is business as usual. Premature electioneering and positioning for 2022 has stared, leaders are engaing in many negative and productive activities…” said Wako.

“The critical issues raised in your statement are in danger of being lost in the dust created. I therefore strongly appeal to you to roll out the programme and launch it soonest.”

Kimani, however, assured the country that the initiative was on course and that the joint secretariat would unveil a schedule that will bring on board all Kenyans and sectors to seek solutions to national issues

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