Uhuru, Raila get honorary Jaramogi university degrees for peace deal

What you need to know:

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga's handshake on March 9 ended the dispute over the 2017 General Elections that threatened to tear the country apart.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga have been awarded honorary degrees for the peace deal they signed after the contentious 2017 presidential election.

The two were honoured by Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology (JOOUST) during a graduation ceremony held on Friday.

President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga, who is now the African Union High Representative for Infrastructure Development in Africa, announced their deal at Harambee House on March 9, 2018.

They shocked the world by exchanging pleasantries and announcing that they had decided to work together for the sake of national peace, unity and development.

The handshake came amid heightened political turmoil that culminated in the mock swearing-in of Mr Odinga on January 30 in Uhuru Park, Nairobi.

The two leaders said they are greatly humbled by the recognition.

President Kenyatta, who was the first to receive the doctorate, said: "I accept with humility the university's acceptance to honour me during this graduation ceremony."

Mr Odinga said: "I feel greatly honoured to have been conferred the doctorate of science of honoris causa by this great university."

Prof Stephen Agong, the vice chancellor of JOOUST said the two erstwhile opponents were recognised for their peace initiative following their March 9 handshake that ended weeks of political turmoil after the disputed 2017 Presidential election.

“Our theme for this year’s graduation is science, technology and Innovation for peace and socio-economic development. This decoration therefore, really fits within that realm given that our two leaders have demonstrated that they are true Statesmen by causing peace and harmony for our beloved Country,” Mr Agong’ said.

“Therefore, in terms of social, integration and harmony we all now can smile and do business as a country."