Cord leader Raila Odinga urged unity and peace at Mzee Jomo Kenyatta’s memorial service, to which President Uhuru Kenyatta invited him.
Mzee Kenyatta, who died 38 years ago, was the President’s father. He was buried nine days later in a state funeral at the Mausoleum in parliament’s precincts.
Raila celebrated the founding father for sacrificing a lot to ensure Kenya attained independence in 1963.
“I remember Mzee Kenyatta speaking to me in German and we would laugh about it,” he said in his tribute at Holy Family Basilica in Nairobi.
“Our families have been friends for a long time and I know of the sacrifices he made for this country, even paying heavily for our freedom.”
Raila said Kenyans should focus on issue-based politics and not brew division in the run up to the 2017 general election.
The opposition leader asked Kenyans to borrow a leaf from the experiences of the independence era and ensure they do not get into tribal fights during political debates.
The former Prime Minister assured Kenyans that the poll set for August 8, 2017 will be peaceful.
“Kenya will never again shed blood because of politics. The nation is bigger than any of us… When things heat up we must know when to stop and talk,” he said.
Raila said he and Uhuru talk whenever there is tension in the country because they value it and want a better life for everyone.
“I hope we will maintain this as we head to the campaigns, which will of course cause excitement among the people,” he said.
During the service Uhuru said Kenyans will never again shed blood because of political competition.
The President said as the country marks the 38 th anniversary of the death of the country’s founding father Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, Kenyans need to embrace the strong legacy left behind by the pioneers and make positive contributions for a better country.
Uhuru said as the country prepares for the next General Election, political competition should be based on programs and ideology not unnecessary issues.
The service was presided over by Rt. Rev. David Kamau, the Auxiliary Bishop of Nairobi Catholic Archdiocese.