Kenya: President Kenyatta Calls for End to Political Intolerance, Says Unity Key to Progress

President Uhuru Kenyatta speaking during a past press conference at State house. Photo/Monicah
President Uhuru Kenyatta speaking during a past press conference at State house. Photo/Monicah

President Uhuru Kenyatta today called for an end to growing intolerance on all sides of the political divide, saying that a peaceful electoral process was key to securing a prosperous Kenya beyond August 8, 2017.

President Kenyatta told thousands of mourners at the burial of Interior Cabinet Secretary Major-General Joseph Kasaine ole Nkaissery that incidents of heckling, jeering and even open abuse of opponents at rallies and social media was retrogressive, sow hatred, but offered little for Kenya’s unity and prosperity.

At a high-octane emotional event, the President spoke out strongly for a united, peaceful Kenya in which politicians realized that after the elections next month, the country would remain. He said the issue really was that a stable country in which all Kenyans felt secure was what the Kenyan people wanted to see and experience.

 He spoke directly to supporters of the Jubilee party he leads as well as to those who back the opposition leader Raila Odinga, who spoke at the funeral as well, but had indicated that he would not discuss politics.

“What we have seen in the last few days has no place in our country, it is not democracy. It should be brought to an end. Abuse, jeering, heckling will not add a single vote to the tally of those you support,” the President said pointedly.

“Kenya will remain, after August 8. It has to be peaceful. It has to be secure. It has to be united. That is the legacy General Nkaissery would have loved to see. That’s what we must give him,” said the President, adding that when he needed someone to fix the security sector in 2014, he turned to the General, then an opposition MP, because he saw in him someone who put Kenya first at all times.

Kenya’s political and religious leaders turned up in their numbers to see off the much-loved and much-respected Major-General Nkaissery. Leaders of the Maa speaking communities, including former Tanzanian Prime Minister Edward Lowassa, were also present. Tanzanian President Dr John Pombe Magufuli sent his security minister to convey his condolences.

Mr Lowassa urged Kenyans to be proud of their country, which he described as ahead of all other Eastern African countries in terms of development.

 “You should not be blaming yourselves, you should be proud of yourselves,” said Mr Lowassa as he urged Kenyans to avoid political violence that might take the country back.

The former Tanzanian PM praised the late CS as a man who loved the peace and stability of Kenya as well as that of the whole of East Africa.

And almost all speakers showered glowing tributes on Nkaissery whom they described as a role model that Kenyans should emulate.

Deputy President William Ruto said Nkaissery had made immense contribution to the Country’s security and he was on his own an embodiment of patriotism.

“A fitting legacy for him would be for us to build bridges of friendship, unity and brotherhood between all communities,” said the DP.

Education CS and Acting Internal Security CS Fred Matiang’i said the Cabinet lost a strong pillar. “We can honor our brother by being honest and by serving with distinction like he did,” said Dr Matiang’i.

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga said Nkaissery was a jovial man who loved people and had many friends.

The late Major-General Joseph Kasaine ole Nkaissery was buried at his home in Ilbisil.

*Presidency Kenya

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