Handshake politics yesterday dominated the memorial service of Jaramogi Oginga Odinga in Bondo.
They gathered at Kango Kajaramogi to commemorate the life and times of the former Vice President praised as the doyen of democracy. Odinga died on January 20, 1994.
Nasa leader Raila Odinga hosted President Uhuru Kenyatta’s brother Muhoho, Cabinet Secretary Raphael Tuju, Homa Bay businessman Sam Wakiaga among other leaders.
Raila, who is Jaramogi’s son, Muhoho, and Tuju laid a wreath at his (Oginga) mausoleum, in an event that affirmed the close ties between the Odinga and Kenyatta families.
Uhuru was in Bondo in December last year where he visited and dined with the Odingas. The President and Raila had attended a graduation ceremony at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University before they toured the Kango home.
Raila commended leaders for embracing the handshake, saying the peace being enjoyed in the country will ensure economic growth and prosperity.
He said the handshake has seen communities unite as was envisioned by the nation’s forefathers during the clamour for independence in the 1960s.
“We need to get the country to where we started in 1961 when Kenyans were united in petitioning the British government to release the political prisoners who were in detention,” Raila said.
Muhoho said that because of the handshake, he took an initiative to visit Bondo and participate in the anniversary and church development.
“I am not a politician, but a development-oriented person who will stick by Raila for the vision of prosperity to be realised for all Kenyans,” Muhoho said.
Raila said the spirit of unity was championed by Jaramogi and the nation’s founding father Jomo Kenyatta, hence, it should be embraced by the current crop of leadership.
He said chaos witnessed in the past had derailed development and jeopardised the country’s vision.
He said disunity has resulted in an increase in poverty, ignorance, and illiteracy which were identified as enemies at independence.
At the same time the Nasa leader asked Christians to pray for peace and tranquility as they are key to development.
The 25th anniversary was hosted at St Peter’s Nyamira ACK church in Bondo.
Tuju, who is also Jubilee secretary general, said the party is committed to the handshake adding that it is not only a Kenyan affair but also of the East Africa Community.
“If Kenya slips, then the economies of the East African countries are at stake,” the CS without portifolio said.
The former Rarienda MP said Kenya’s economy is bigger than those of the four countries in East Africa put together, hence, the need for maximum tranquility.