President Uhuru Kenyatta has revealed that his close advisers vehemently opposed a truce between him and ODM leader Raila Odinga after the disputed 2017 elections.
Uhuru, who made a speech at National Prayer Breakfast in the US, said some of his allies told him not to reach out to Raila at a time when the country was burning.
“I was surrounded by people who said we have power, why the hell do we have to talk to those guys,” he told the meeting.
The 68th US National Prayer Breakfast dubbed “Reconciliation, Faith and Peace Building” was hosted by the United States Congress and organised by the Fellowship Foundation in Washington DC.
It brought together more than 2,000 international guests, including political and business leaders, the US Congress, members of the diplomatic corps and clerics.
Uhuru said he had indicated to the people around him that he wanted to reach out to Raila not to discuss sharing of power, but to talk about the reasons why Kenyans fight after elections.
“It just happened that Raila was also thinking along the same lines, but the problem was that he was also surrounded by people who told him that he must grab power,” he said.
Raila, who also addressed the gathering, said he was also hesitant to meet Uhuru because the people around him were not for it.
“After long discussions, he came driving himself and I also went driving myself,” he stated.
Raila said it is during the second meeting that they decided to bring other people on board. “He came with one person and I went with one. We then told them the issues we had discussed and wanted to be put in writing,” he explained.
They identified nine issues that they wanted to be tackled, among them ethnic antagonism, lack of a national ethos, divisive elections, corruption and shared prosperity.