In a show of might President Uhuru Kenyatta hosted 200 MPs at State House on Thursday accompanied by ODM leader Raila Odinga, a pointer his growing influence in shaping up his succession in the August polls.
Coming only days after a combined force of Azimio La Umoja allied MPs decisively beat those allied to DP William Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA), Uhuru appeared to send a strong signal that even though his term ends in less than a year, he was firmly in-charge.
The fact that Uhuru shared the high table with his handshake partner Raila, who is launching his presidential campaigns in Thika on Saturday, was another strong indication of who his preferred successor was.
DP Ruto who has had a spectacular fall out with the President was nowhere near State House – the venue of the meeting where MPs were treated to a luncheon.
The MPs drawn from Jubilee, ODM and other friendly parties resolved to work together in uniting the country.
Going by the number of legislators who turned up for the new year luncheon it appears the president is determined to have crucial bills that will define his legacy passed.
The meeting comes against a backdrop of attacks on the planned Azimio La Umoja coalition which Deputy President William Ruto and his allies attempted to cripple it’s formation.
Unlike before when there were murmurs of rendering President Kenyatta a lame duck president it is clear the president can now sit pretty assured of having numbers in the National Assembly. numbers in the National Assembly that can push through the remaining bills.
As part of his determination to ensure smooth transition the president reminded politicians to conduct peaceful campaigns ahead of the forthcoming general elections.
“I hope and pray that this spirit we have started with, we shall be able to carry on with it through till elections are over and for us to be able to bequeath again a new administration peace, togetherness and a focus on the issues that affect the people of this Republic,” the President said.
The Head of State commended Members of Parliament for passing crucial bills, which he said, are key to improving governance and delivery of services to Kenyans.
“The passage of the anti-money laundering bill, for example, will ensure that we are able to continue being part of the international financial system, and to have a respected banking system that can only help improve and mature our economy,” he said.
The President, who was joined at the luncheon by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga commended them for passing crucial bills.
On Political Parties (Amendment) Bill, President Kenyatta said the law is aimed at improving the country’s governance system and regretted that some leaders were demonising the amendment for short-term political gain.
“And the political parties amendment that we are trying to push through which some people have tried to demonise as they demonised BBI. The bill is giving us an opportunity to be able to formally work together across political parties in the interest of the nation,” the President said.
He urged the Senate to emulate the National Assembly in passing the Political Parties (Amendment) Bill and other laws before them so to ensure the country attains its development goals.
In his remarks, Raila commended MP’s for passing the Political Parties (Amendment) and urged the Senate to emulate the National Assembly for the benefit of all Kenyans.
The 2022 Presidential Candidate said constitutional making is work in progress noting that Kenyans desire laws that will ensure good governance.
“I just want to say, like it has been said before, that law and constitution making is always work on progress” Raila said
“So, really, it is not a crime for somebody to see something is wrong in our constitution or in our law that we need to change, because it always makes things better.
“They say that a good idea always yields to a better idea, and a better idea would yield to the best idea,” Odinga added.