BY BENJAMIN MURIUKI
Embakasi East Member of Parliament Babu Owino on Wednesday bowed before President Uhuru Kenyatta.
As Kenyatta delivered his State of the Nation address, he called on political leaders to join him in owning up for the mistakes they made during last year’s electioneering period that left the country polarised and deeply divided along political and ethnic lines.
“We leaders have to admit that last year we failed in our duty to preserve the unity of this country and we must make amendments. First I pray that all of us will spend the days and weeks after this address repairing the bonds that frayed last year. let us each apologise for our words, anger and malice that Kenyans heard,” said Kenyatta as the House burst in applause.
“Let us shake hands and embrace our neighbours and let us celebrate the diversity that is God’s gift to us.”
As soon as the president said; “let us shake hands…” the lawmakers got into a frenzy that interrupted the address for about a minute as they heartily shook hands.
For Babu Owino, this was the opportunity to reconcile with the man who, essentially, could get him a new lease of political life.
Owino walked to the podium, shook hands with President Kenyatta and in a rare show even bowed before the man he has previously trolled and insulted in public.
A week after the March 9 Kenyatta-Odinga handshake, Babu Owino pleaded with the President to “release him from the furnace,” now that the opposition and the government are reading from the same script.
“I would like to tell the president, Uhuru Kenyatta, that he has put Babu Owino in fire, and he has burned and he is strong. I do not want to be stronger than this, let him remove me from the fire,” Babu Owino said in Parliament on March 14.
Asked about the highlight moment during the State of the Nation Address, Babu Owino said; “He (President Kenyatta) extended his hand towards where I was seated and I told myself, this is the opportunity to reconcile our differences. Our differences were ideological never personal.”
Owino was not short of praise for the President. When asked to rate the President’s State of the Nation Address out of 10 he said “I will give him a 10.”
The former University of Nairobi students’ council boss’ actions have been viewed as a change in his art of war in order to save his fledgling political career.
Below is the video of Owino shaking hands with Kenyatta as he briefly bows before him;