Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday kicked off his two-day working visit of Kisumu and Siaya Counties with calls for peace and national unity.
The President, accompanied by Deputy President William Ruto, former Prime Minister Raila Odinga who is also the AU envoy for Infrastructure and former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, began his visit by launching the construction of the Shs 655.9 million Ahero Interchange.
Addressing a huge crowd of jubilant residents during the launch at the Ahero-Kisii junction that gave him a rousing welcome after the historic March 2018 “handshake”, President Kenyatta said political competition will never again be allowed to undermine national unity.
“We are here to prove wrong those who are saying the ‘handshake’ is not genuine. The ‘handshake’ is working and our responsibility, as leaders, is to unite Kenyans so as to develop the country,” President Kenyatta said.
President Kenyatta pointed out that the new road project implemented in the county linking Nyanza, Western and Rift regions symbolized the new national spirit of unity and ushered in a new chapter of development in the country.
He said the road was a uniting factor for the people of Kisumu, Kisii, Kericho and Migori counties and as far as Tanzania.
“We have come here to launch this Ahero road interchange which unites the people of Kisumu and Kisii, the people of Kisumu and Kericho, the people of Kisumu and Migori up to Tanzania,” said the President.
The President added:“With my brother Raila, we’ve agreed that politics is not more important than the welfare of the people of the Republic of Kenya.”
The President said with the ‘handshake’, the country’s leadership has resolved that never again will politics be allowed to divide Kenyans.
“Our responsibility, as leaders, is to work together and ensure that after a grueling political competition, nobody is left out of Government. That is why my brother Raila Amolo Odinga is in Government and we are in close consultation on how to improve the lives of all Kenyans,” President Kenyatta said.
The Head of State emphasized that his visit to the lake county of Kisumu was to launch development projects but also to prove that the “handshake” was working to unite Kenyans, entrench peace and spread development across the country.
He urged Kenyans to support the journey of preaching peace and unity that leaders have embarked on, saying the spirit of ‘handshake’ will not stop in Kenya but spread to the whole of East Africa and across the African continent.
The President said that was the reason why the African Union gave the responsibility of developing the road infrastructure in Africa to former Prime Minister Odinga because of his experience and competence.
President Kenyatta also talked against corruption saying the war on graft should not be politicised.
“I urged all Kenyans to join hands in ending this vice that is threatening our economic development and growth. This vice knows no tribe, religion or political affiliation,” President Kenyatta said.
Deputy President Ruto said the entire Kenyan leadership is now united to develop the country and improve the lives of Kenyans.