A roundup of photos of President Uhuru Kenyatta and AU special envoy Raila Odinga during their trip to Washington DC.
A roundup of photos of President Uhuru Kenyatta and AU special envoy Raila Odinga during their trip to Washington DC.
Image: PSCU

By Correspondent

President Uhuru Kenyatta has said the Building Bridges Initiative will stabilise the economy by ending the tension the country has faced over the last 30 years during General Elections.

Uhuru spoke on Thursday in Washington DC at the luncheon organised to mark the US National Prayer Breakfast where he was a key speaker together with ODM leader Raila Odinga.

“It is impossible to bring prosperity and long-term economic stability that’s required for a nation to develop and grow without stable peace. Everybody used to plan their businesses around the election cycle,” Uhuru said.

The President said agreeing to end political enmity with Raila was motivated by the realisation that the disruption of the economy by electoral tensions every so often was not sustainable.

He narrated the tense and long process that led to the Handshake.

“We sat in a room and it took almost six hours for us to even begin talking anything…it was, what you call, excruciating silence because nobody wanted to be the first to say anything,” he said.

Uhuru expressed satisfaction that millions of Kenyans are participating in the BBI process.

“We shook hands and embraced and that one single moment changed the whole country. Because nobody would ever have imagined that we would shake hands and embrace,” Uhuru said.

He added that the country has began the process of reconciliation and national healing through the BBI.

“The greatest gift that I and Raila Odinga can possibly ever leave the people of Kenya is the gift of peace, the gift of love and unity of all our people. And that’s the mission that we are on,” he said.

Raila committed to achieving national cohesion through the BBI process by building trust and unity among Kenyans.

Raila said BBI will not only unite and stabilise the country, but will address several challenges facing the country, including youth unemployment, corruption and negative ethnicity.

“We discovered that there was no national ethos. We talked about shared prosperity or disparity in terms of regional development, ethnicity as a factor that divides our people. We talked about issues of corruption as a cancer in our society,” Raila said.