Nairobi. Kalenjin, Luo and Gema elders have defended opposition leader Raila Odinga’s handshake with President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The elders accused the politicians attacking Mr Odinga of fueling divisive politics. They have said the critics should direct any questions on the importance of the handshake to the elders.
Mr Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta last month issued a joint statement and vowed to work together. The two leaders shook hands for the first time since the volatile 2017 electioneering period which saw Mr Odinga boycott the October 26 repeat presidential polls.
After the famous handshake, some leaders in the opposition accused Mr Odinga of joining a government he criticised.
The elders, who spoke in Kisumu were led by Gema Chairman Bishop Peter Njenga, his Kalenjin counterpart Major John Sei and Luo council executive Apostle Stephen Oludhe. The elders asked politicians to stop fighting over positions.
In what appears to be a newly found ‘unity’ between the three communities after the historical handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Mr Odinga, the elders vowed to work together for unity and development.
Mr Oludhe said they stayed at Methodist Guest House in Nairobi for three days where they met Mr Odinga ahead of the handshake which they claim was inspired by God. “Raila was summoned by the elders to a meeting where he was given conditions that he had to go for the handshake. We don’t want anyone to blame him for the move he made. Let the missiles be directed at us instead,” said Mr Oludhe. DEAL
There have been questions by both opposition leaders and supporters as well as the Jubilee wing on the benefits of the deal between Mr Kenyatta and Mr Odinga following the recent deportation of fiery lawyer Miguna Miguna. Mr Oludhe was speaking at Jalaram Hospital where they had visited Luo Council of Elders Chairman Mr Willis Opiyo Otondi, who has been hospitalised for six days. They prayed and encouraged Mr Otondi before transferring him from Jalaram Hospital to Kisumu Specialist Hospital where he is expected to undergo an operation. “The handshake is what we have been asking for. It is time we stopped fighting, elders must now lead,” Bishop Njenga said.
Major Sei said the elders had taken their position in guiding the country.
“As elders, we have good chemistry that we want to extend to the youth of this country,” said Major Sei. (NMG)