Monday, 12 November, 2018

Tillerson says Kenya should not stifle media or threaten courts

Raila Odinga with President Uhuru Kenyatta Raila Odinga with President Uhuru Kenyatta
Charlie Simmons | 11 March, 2018, 01:50

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga met Friday in an apparent effort to settle months of violent post-election tensions.

In their joint address, President Kenyatta said: "We will begin a process of discussing what ails us and what creates division amongst us".

The two share several similarities including making history as the longest serving political detainees in Kenya, with Odinga leading, after spending nine years behind bars, under retired President Daniel Moi's rule. "With a fast-growing GDP ... a vibrant culture of entrepreneurship, and a regional economic leader, we are eager to find more ways to work with you".

Mr Odinga said it was "time to resolve our differences". "Elections come and go but Kenya remains".

"The US is glad to see Kenya building investor confidence because that will help in the growth of the economy", the US Secretary of State stated.

As Raila Odinga and Uhuru Kenyatta toast, hug and laugh in Nairobi, I remain marooned in Canada because I swore the former in at Uhuru Park on January 30th, 2018.

That's not a coincidence, said independent political analyst Martin Andati.

Prominent anti-corruption campaigner John Githongo said it was hard to understand why the meeting happened now and he cautioned that "the devil is in the details".

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"This is the moment for our country to stand together and build the bridges of friendship, brotherhood and unity so as to take this country to another level", said Mr Ruto.

He said they have agreed to stop any dissent immediately and not to allow the country's diversity to kill their nation.

Allies in Odinga's NASA coalition, including his running mate in last year's poll, Kalonzo Musyoka, said they were not aware of the meeting and promised to give a detailed statement later.

Odinga, who spoke first, expressed similar sentiments.

Secretary Tillerson says the USA will seek to work with African nations, providing them with incentives to improve governance and meet their long-term security and development goals.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Saturday canceled his events in Kenya because he was feeling unwell.

This article was reported by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

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