What Raila, DP Ruto told Canterbury Archbishop Justin Welby
Canterbury Archbishop Justin Welby on Tuesday met with ODM leader Raila Odinga and Deputy President William Ruto in Nairobi.
His first meeting was with Mr. Odinga at a Nairobi hotel.
“Grateful to see former Kenyan PM Raila Odinga this morning with Archbishop Jackson ole Sapit- the first of several meetings with Kenyan politicians on this short trip,” the Canterbury Archbishop said.
A statement from Mr. Odinga’s office said the leaders discussed the political environment in Kenya, with particular focus on the Building Bridges Initiative and the working relationship between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Mr. Odinga.
The Archbishop of Canterbury is said to have noted that the bulk of the BBI report focuses on addressing socio-economic inequality as the source of the tensions and anger: he appealed to Kenyans not to lose sight of this.
“There has been some focus on positions being created but we see that as part of the wider effort to create opportunity for more communities to come to the negotiating table and deal with imbalances,” the Canterbury Archbishop said.
After his meeting with Mr. Odinga, Archbishop Welby left to meet with DP Ruto at his Harambee Annex office.
The BBI report was also at the centre of their discussion.
Archbishop Welby reiterated that he had taken note of its objective to find solutions to problems facing Kenyans.
“Allow everyone to be heard in the process. It should not be mostly leaders bringing up an idea. This is a problem we face throughout the world. I find it easier to allow all shades of opinions,” he said.
On his part, Dr. Ruto echoed the church leader’s sentiments saying all Kenyans should be allowed to give their views to enrich the document.
The Deputy President asked politicians not to ignore views from Kenyans.
““There is a temptation to think that a different or contrary view is opposition. I believe accommodating alternative views allows an all-inclusive process that enriches the document,” he said.
Dr Ruto said he would resist any attempt to create political camps or “us versus them” in the process.
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