It was a handshake that drew a line under Kenya’s bruising election, left many people bewildered and swung open the starting gate for the 2022 presidential race.
After months of insults during a deadly and divisive election, the two heirs of Kenya’s most powerful political dynasties, President Uhuru Kenyatta and his rival Raila Odinga, stood side by side in March this year, shook hands and pledged reconciliation.
Well! Could you say the same for Uganda!
We don’t know for sure.
It’s not yet clear whether the two main players in Uganda’s political field will leave behind divisive politics with a handshake like Kenyatta and Uhuru did.
Even before the Martyrs Day celebrations commenced on Sunday at Namugongo in Wakiso District, everyone looked forward to witnessing President Museveni and his four time presidential challenger Dr Kizza Besigye’s historic meeting.
As they say history repeats itself, the two again shook hands indeed, leaving thousands of pilgrims gathered at the Namugongo, Anglican Shrine excited.
The excitement was further demonstrated when Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda left the congregation in a thunderous applause after introducing Dr Besigye as one of the political leaders who had attended the Martyrs Day celebrations under the theme “Let us walk in the light of God as a family (1 John 1:5-10).”
When Museveni, Besigye historic handshake first happened in November 2015, for the first time in a long time, during the Papal visit, nothing much came out of it given the fact that it was barely three months to the February 2016 presidential elections.
Besigye lost the election again but insisted had won with more than 50 percent.
At Sunday’s event led by Tororo Archdiocese, Mr Museveni also shook the hand of the key players in the 2016 presidential race, former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi.