President Uhuru Kenyatta has expressed optimism that the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) is going to be the solution to Kenya’s divisive politics and therefore the cycle of election-related violence.
Attributing the slow economic process over the last 30 years to election violence, he said BBI seeks to seek out a home-grown solution.
“Once the election comes, everything stops…business stops one year before an election and restarts one year after. it’s impossible to bring prosperity and long-term economic stability that’s required for a nation to develop and grow without stable peace,” President Kenyatta said yesterday.
He was speaking during the 68th US National Prayer Breakfast in Washington DC.
The President recounted Kenya’s history of election-related ethnic conflicts since the adoption of multiparty democracy within the early 1990s and noted that his peace pact with main political rival Raila Odinga was motivated by the will to bring these disruptions to an end.
“We shook hands and embraced, which one single moment changed the entire country. Since then, we’ve walked as brothers, we’ve brought on board (Kenyans) and therefore the process that we started isn’t a political process but rather a process that seeks to entrench our democracy,” he said.
Kenya has begun the process of reconciliation and national healing through the BBI, he added.
“The greatest gift that we will possibly ever leave the people of Kenya is that the gift of peace, the gift of affection and unity of all our people. and that is the mission that we are on,” the President said. He went on to precise satisfaction that many Kenyans have joined the initiative.
Mr Odinga said he shares the President’s determination and commitment to realize national cohesion through the BBI process by building trust and unity among Kenyans.
He added that the BBI may be a historical journey to a united and stable Kenya, which it’ll also help address several challenges facing the country, including youth unemployment, corruption, and negative ethnicity.
Senator Christopher Coons, the chairman of the subcommittee on African Affairs of the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee, spoke fondly of President Kenyatta and Mr. Odinga, saying the determination by the 2 leaders to unite their country by reaching bent one another and shutting ranks makes them global role models.