President Uhuru Kenyatta has today during the unveiling of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) disclosed the tense moment between him and Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga before the famous handshake.
Speaking at Bomas, Uhuru stated that their agreement to come together with Raila was not an easy task.
He stated the events leading to the meeting narrating that for the first 45 minutes, there was so much tension and nobody was ready to talk to the other following the chaotic 2017 general elections.
“Kukutana kwetu haikuwa kitu rahisi… tulikuwa na hofu… ilikuwa unajiuliza… huyu mtu tukikutana tutaambiana nini. Tulikunywa chai 45 minutes na hakuna mwenye alikuwa anaogea… ilikuwa tunauliza; habari ya nyumbani… habari ya mama…. wako tu…. habari ya watoto… wako sawa,” he said.
This translates to,” Our meeting was not an easy one as we did not know what to tell each other. We had tea for 45 minutes talking about families as no one was ready to open up.”
Raila, who spoke before Uhuru explained that the meeting before the handshake was a 19 hours long before they agreed among themselves to work together and stop election violence.
“It took a long 19 hours to discuss this. After the long deliberations, we agreed among ourselves,” said Odinga.
Odinga also added that they sought the advice of two lawyers who helped in putting together their discussions before coming out to the public.
On March 9, 2018 President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga made a rare appearance at the Harambee House where they pledged to put their differences aside and work together for the good of the nation.
The two made their briefing and without taking any questions nor explanations to their project, they started their implementation.
The 2017 general elections was one that went down in the Kenyan history after the presidential results were annulled and a fresh presidential election conducted withing three months.
The election violence was massive, with deaths and loss of properties witnessed. According to Uhuru and Raila, calling a truce was to create room for inclusivity of government and to ensure there are no bloodshed during elections.