• Ruto says "nobody is in Kenya by mistake".
• Raila rallies the public behind his handshake with the President.
Deputy President William Ruto and ODM leader Raila Odinga put aside their political differences on Sunday and rooted for peace and unity.
Speaking during Mashujaa Day celebrations at Mama Ngina Waterfront grounds in Mombasa, they urged Kenyans to reject division, ethnicity and hatred; and instead embrace unity for the sake of prosperity.
Ruto, Raila’s fiercest political rival, urged Kenyans to rally behind President Uhuru Kenyatta to achieve his dreams of uniting and developing the country through his Big 4 legacy agenda.
“I want to ask all of us to refuse to be drawn into the politics of ethnicity, hatred, division and political deceit, and stand firm behind Uhuru Kenyatta so that we can unify this country,” he said.
The President led Kenyans in marking Mashujaa Day, when the country celebrates its heroes and heroines for their sacrifice and contributions to Kenya's well-being.
Numerous leaders, among them Chief Justice David Maraga, former Vice Presidents Kalonzo Musyioka and Musalia Mudavadi, speakers of the bicameral Parliament, Cabinet secretaries and top government officials attended.
I urge you to work together and take this county forward. We are all brothers. Nobody is in Kenya by mistake. We are all in Kenya for the love of God so that we work together for the sake of this countryDP William Ruto
Ruto said "nobody is in Kenya by mistake" and urged Kenyans to embrace each other irrespective of their political affiliation and ethnicity.
“I urge you to work together and take this county forward. We are all brothers. Nobody is in Kenya by mistake. We are all in Kenya for the love of God so that we work together for the sake of this country,” he said.
Raila, who spoke moments before the DP, rallied the public behind his handshake with the President. The former Prime Minister said the expected Building Bridges Initiative report will provide solutions to the problems ailing the country.
The African Special Envoy said the BBI task force's recommendations will end discrimination and acrimony, which have held back the country, and urged Kenyans to support it.
The BBI team, birthed by the political truce between Uhuru and Raila, is expected to submit its report any time now with recommendations on how to fix the problems facing the country.
The team chaired by Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji traversed the country collecting views on what they think should be done to address Kenya's perennial challenges.
We want to improve the governance of this country. That is why we have the handshake. The handshake will take Kenya back to its roots so that all Kenyans will be served without discriminationRaila Odinga
“We want to improve the governance of this country. That is why we have the handshake. The handshake will take Kenya back to its roots so that all Kenyans will be served without discrimination,” Raila said.
“The handshake came in handy to unite Kenyans and we should all support the BBI because it will end corruption and division so that Kenyans can live as brothers and sisters.”
Host Governor Hassan Joho also voiced support for the handshake, saying Mombasa and the entire Coast region have seen and felt the benefits of the truce.
Joho, who did not see eye-to-eye with Uhuru before the March 9, 2018, handshake, said it was hard for him to accept the reality of working with the head of state.
“I had a big problem with the President. I asked myself how I would talk to the President and how I would work with him. But after my party leader told me that this country is bigger than an individual, I will do anything and everything to support President Uhuru Kenyatta,” he said.
Joho criticised selfish leaders making it hard for the country to move forward. He said disunity among leaders, especially at the Coast, is the bane of the region and the country.
"The people sitting here are the problem. We are so divided and nobody seems to understand why," Joho said.
He said the region needs unity now more than ever as it has proven to be beneficial. "This celebration is a testimony of what unity can do to us," the governor said.
He urged leaders to learn from the disciplined forces as they do not engage in divisive politics. "They know no ODM, Jubilee or any other party. They only know they are to defend and protect the country," Joho said.
Edited by Josephine M. Mayuya