President Uhuru Kenyatta today revisited debate on the building bridges initiative saying political leaders need each other because none has a monopoly of solutions over problems facing the country.
The President said there is need for co-operation between leaders in all areas of socio-economic development and in the current war against corruption.
He said the historic March 9 handshake between himself and opposition leader Raila Odinga was based on realization that it is the ordinary people who keep suffering whenever leaders fight.
“We (President Kenyatta and Raila) looked for each other after endless bitter exchanges. We saw the need to come together after realizing that conflicts between leaders only lead to the suffering of ordinary people,” he said.
The Head of State spoke at Tseikuru in Kyuso Sub-County, Kitui County, during the burial ceremony of Mzee Peter Musyoka Mairu, the father to Wiper Party Leader and former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka.
The burial ceremony was attended by thousands of mourners including Deputy President William Ruto, NASA co-principals Raila Odinga and Musalia Mudavadi, governors, a host of MPs and representatives of church leaders from across the country.
Mzee Mairu died last week aged 94. He is survived by two widows, 21 children, brother Mburu Mairu aged over 100 years and over 35 grand and great grand children.
President Kenyatta said through the handshake, the two leaders agreed to end politics of tribalism and division, and instead nurture progress based and development sensitive politics.
The President reaffirmed that never again will leaders allow this country to slide into bloodshed and destruction of property even when politicians have their differences.
The President said going forward no part of the country will be balkanized to suit the whims of selfish individuals adding that all parts of the country will remain open and free for all Kenyans .
“No areas of the country will be closed to certain leaders due to politics. There is nothing like that. All parts of the country will remain open to all Kenyans and politicians are free to seek support from everywhere,” he said.
President Kenyatta lauded the late Mairu for raising , protecting and providing for his large family besides cultivating love and unity among them.
He said many people are known to neglect their family members especially elderly parents and praised the former VP for taking good care of his elderly father until his last days.
“That’s a good example for us all," the President told the Wiper leader.
Deputy President William Ruto urged leaders to co-operate and build one Kenya that benefits its over 45 million citizens.
He assured the President of unqualified support from all leaders so that the current pace of development and peace can be sustained.
Other leaders who spoke at the function lauded the building bridges initiative saying it had ushered the country into a new era where leaders could disagree but continue working together for the benefit of the entire country.
Those who spoke included governors Kaluki Ngilu (Kitui), Kivutha Kibwana (Makueni), Dr Aldred Mutua ( Machakos), Ferdinand Waititu (Kiambu) and Mike Sonko (Nairobi).
Others were the leader of majority in parliament Aden Duale, Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka, Kitui Senator Enoch Wambua and his Makueni counterpart Mutula Kilonzo Junior and Senate majority leader Kipchumba Murkomen