09 Mar My hopes and fears of the Uhuru-Raila meeting
I read today that Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga today had a meeting, in which they agreed to work towards healing the deep rifts between us as Kenyans. I posted my fears and hopes and desires in this Facebook post. I really hope this works.
My Statement in full:
Today, two brothers, Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga met and agreed to work together to start the process of healing the ever expanding divisions that exist and that have continued to grow among us.
Like many Kenyans, my initial view is to be suspicious of the move. Too many times have politicians done things that seem good but that eventually send us further away. Also, I cannot forget that many of us are still deeply hurt and we still feel loss – not least of our loved ones and of Kenyans that we did not know but identify with. I continue to feel the pain and hurt of watching a young form four student being brutally beat up by Policemen and being left there, on a Mathare ditch, to die.
I feel the economic pressure of our times – as debt bites and jobs have disappeared. I feel scared and apprehensive of a future that seems always dark and filled with foreboding.
That said, I recognise that I am faced with a choice. To remain suspicious or to read the two leaders actions at face value and gain some cautious optimism and hope.
I choose to read them at face value and to believe them cautiously – that they will be earnest and treat Kenyans with honour and respect. That they will work hard to start the process of finding justice for the Kenyans who need it. That they will move to all 47 counties and really listen to citizens. That they will abandon cronysm and treat all Kenyans as important and that development efforts will be concentrated in places where it is really needed.
I am hopeful that they will respect the judiciary and the independence of the media. That they will uphold the rights of everyone. That true diversity will be delivered in all considerations – not just ethnic but of gender as well.
I am hopeful that they will strengthen the freedoms that enable us to have the confidence to invest, to create and find jobs and to better ourselves.
I recognise that I have a responsibility myself to be measured and considerate as I speak to others – even when I disagree. I must try and remain objective and respectful so that I can rebuild relationships. I recognise my responsibility to be vigilant and to hold these two leaders, and all others accountable for their actions.
I really hope this works, because God help us, we need healing and progress.