In his short speech in the event attended by Deputy President William Ruto, President Kenyatta admitted that he had not prepared a speech. He was the only politician to speak at the event and other leaders at the event including DP Ruto, Kalonzo Musyoka and Musalia Mudavadi did not get a chance to deliver remarks.
“I thought we had a deal that the function would end in a word of prayer and that there would be no speeches. This is not my day, this is a day we decided to dedicate this nation to God,” the head of state started.
He said that the theme of the day was thanksgiving and repentance and in that note, extended an olive branch to his adversaries.
“If there’s anyone that I have offended, I apologize and to those who have offended me, I forgive you,” he stated to the applause of the audience.
The statement brought memories of the late President Daniel Moi who gave a similar speech during his last Jamhuri Day speech in 2002.
“If you abused me, I forgive you and forgive me if I hurt you,” declared the visibly remorseful Moi as he knew his political sunset was coming.
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s speech is expected to be put under a lot of scrutiny by political analysts and politicians alike.
The head of state has appeared to be critical of his deputy as claimed by his allies such as Jubilee Chairman David Murathe and Secretary General Raphael Tuju.
Despite the president’s speech, forgiveness is neither cheap nor easy and goes beyond mere words.
Many Kenyans who have undergone immense suffering as a result of actions or inaction by President Kenyatta’s administration may eventually forgive but it would take time.
ODM leader Raila Odinga was missing during the event.
In photos seen by Kenyans.co.ke, Raila and his wife Ida Odinga were spotted in Bondo, in a ceremony where Gikuyu elders and eminent persons from the community had visited for a dialogue.
“Kama kuna mtu mimi nimefanyia makosa, naomba msamaha. Kama kuna mmoja wenu ambaye amenikosea, mimi nimemsamehe. Hiyo ndio njia pekee ya kusonga na kuendelea mbele…” – President Uhuru Kenyatta pic.twitter.com/KjSbvC53Gq
— Citizen TV Kenya (@citizentvkenya) October 10, 2020