Uhuru and Raila 'honeymoon' on Twitter but will unity deal last?
4 months ago, 13 Mar 11:06
ODM and Jubilee Party have taken their new-found 'love' to Twitter through hash tag #MbelePamoja. The parties led by Opposition leader Raila Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta have embraced talks aimed at unity, peace and development, and an end to ethnic tensions. This is new for Kenyans because the Raila-Uhuru friendship has been curious - they have called each other ndugu (brother) and walked through tough times together, but ripped through each other in matters politics. It was therefore expected that local and international leaders would praise the two leaders and as this happened, the parties shared their new-found stands via Twitter on Tuesday. Raila's party said: "The ODM Party welcomes the promise of a brave new Kenya, rising from the pathologies of an era that must cease to exist. In this, we look forward to constructive engagement with the [Jubilee] in line with the path taken by [Uhuru and Raila]. #Mbelepamoja." Jubilee and at least 91 Kenyans retweeted this and the pattern was the same when the ruling coalition posted a message. "In line with sentiments expressed by [Uhuru] and [Raila], [Jubilee] will do everything possible to engage with [ODM] in the context of mutual respect and national interest. #MbelePamoja. We are all brothers and sisters with a shared destiny as Kenyans and we should embrace each other as such. "We consider the meeting to be a bold move that will usher in a new Kenya, where parties with divergent opinions can come together in the interest of our nation." The orange party and more than 102 members of the public shared this message. 'HOW QUICKLY THINGS CHANGE' Some of those who responded to the tweets noted how quickly the tide has turned. Matters worsened for Uhuru and Raila in 2013 when the ODM boss opposed the results of the presidential election that Uhuru won. Raila accused Uhuru of rigging the polls, an allegation that he repeated last year when he took his complaints to the Supreme Court. The ODM leader dismissed his arch rival as an illegitimate President after the August and October 2017 elections. The rivalry last year was disastrous as many were either killed or injured during protests by the Opposition. Raila placed the number of those killed at 250 and demanded that the President take responsibility. He also declared he would not stop until Uhuru was removed from power so he shocked Kenyans and his Nasa co-principals with a handshake, smiles and light moments at Harambee House in Nairobi on March 9. While taking note of this major change of script, one '@erwoti' wrote: "You were alive when [ODM and Jubilee] retweeted each other. [Uhuru-Raila handshake] effects slowly taking shape." One Kibs Koech termed the retweeting breaking news. "[Jubilee and ODM] retweet their own tweets for the first time. The handshake ... is raising momentum on both sides." '@DunochD' said: "Interesting to see the new found love for each other. Hope it will not be to rape Kenya." But Polycarp Hinga noted that setting differences aside for the greater good of the nation is true leadership. ...
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