The long delayed return visit by Luo elders will be held on Friday this week in Nyeri in an event where ODM leader Raial Odinga is expected to attend.
Speaking ahead of the visit, Kikuyu Council of Elders (KCE) chairman Wachira Kiago said the Luo elders will be led by their chairman or Ker Otondi and will be received by their Kikuyu counterparts at the venue, Kabiruini.
He said preparations for the historic visit are complete and that the highlight of the visit will be joint prayers for the unity and peaceful co-existence of not just the two communities but the entire country.
Kiago said the most important issue about the visit is to show that all Kenyan communities can live together in peace and that there are no serious differences among and that he was happy that the elders are leading from the front.
He said since the handshake elders have been talking and cementing inter-community relations and that it was in that spirit that the Kikuyu elders made history when they visited their Luo counterparts in December 2020 in an event that hosted in Bondo.
Kiago said ever since the Luo elders have been eager to come to Nyeri for a return visit but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the visit has been postponed several times.
“Iam glad the return visit is now on. It was postponed many times due to Covid-19 pandemic. All preparations and done and we are ready to receive our visitors. This is another historical moment that will demonstrate that the Luo and Kikuyu communities can work together like they did during the fight for independence,’’ said Kiago.
The December 2020 visit to Bondo by the Kikuyu elders drew national attention at the time as it was seen as a major political endorsement of Raila Odinga’s 2022 presidential bid but clothed as a cultural event.
Raila came out to say that the visit was purely cultural and was organized by elders that a return visit to Nyeri would follow.
Politicians opposed to the handshake were quick to criticized the visit but political observers now credit the visit to warm reception that Raila has been receiving in Mt Kenya.
Kiago said at the time they sounded like a lone voice in the wilderness but he is happy to see even other groups organizing inter-community visits with the aim of cementing ties and seeking unity that could last beyond the next general election.