President Uhuru Kenyatta has received a boost in his re-election bid after former Tanzanian Prime Minister Edward Lowassa endorsed his candidature.
Lowassa, who had attended the burial of the late Interior Cabinet secretary Maj-Gen (rtd) Joseph Nkaissery on Saturday, told a press conference in Nairobi yesterday Kenyans should elect Uhuru in next month’s General Election so that he pushes the development agenda forward.
Lowassa said Uhuru is also a respected leader in the region and can unite the East African Community. “I believe that by electing Uhuru Kenyatta, a leader who is believed in East Africa, will help in achieving the dream of uniting the East Africans,” he said.
Lowassa also urged Kenyans to maintain peace during and after the elections to avoid a repeat of the 2007/8 violence, which he said took the country steps backwards.
He used his own example saying that despite losing the Tanzania elections in 2015 where he vied against President John Maghufuli on Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (Chadema) party, he accepted the result. He said he resisted attempts by people urging him to reject the result and push for protests saying it is wrong for any candidate to win an election through bloodshed.
“I am pleading to Kenyans with all my heart, strength that we maintain peace because it is the root for development, we have got the development we have today because of peace.
I accepted defeat even if that did not reflect my wish. People told me we shed blood but what is the importance of having a leader who goes to State House through bloodshed?” he posed.
The sentiments by Lowassa come after in May this year, his party Chadema said it is backing the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta. Its Chairman Freeman Mbowe told the party’s council meeting that after assessment, they had concluded that Uhuru was the right candidate for presidency and a better choice for democracy in Kenya.
Lowassa also talked about the EAC integration and the unity of the Maa community following the death of its leaders Nkaissery, John Keen and William ole Ntimama.
He vowed to organise a meeting of the community after the August election for them to chart the way forward for their community as well as appoint leaders. “It is important to be united in communities, country. We are sad that these people have left us.We shall plan as to who will be our leaders”.