Ford-Kenya deputy party leader Boni Khalwale has dismissed the apology made by President Uhuru Kenyatta during his State of the Nation address as deceptive to Kenyans.
He said Mr Kenyatta needs to take action on issues that engulfed the country last year including loss of lives during and after elections, arrest of opposition leaders and failure to combat corruption under his rule.
“We want to see families of those who were maimed and killed by the police in 2017 compensated by the State and Miguna Miguna unconditionally allowed back home before we can accept the apology,” added Mr Khalwale.
The outspoken former Kakamega senator censured MPs for accepting to be “deceived” without taking the President to account for his apology.
On Wednesday, Mr Kenyatta used the annual event to make a call for Kenyans to unite in the wake of a divisive and fraught electioneering period last year.
“If there was anything I said last year that hurt or wounded you, if I damaged the unity of this country in any way, I ask you to forgive me, and to join me in repairing that harm,” asked the President, who was sworn in for a second term in January this year after months of bruising political campaigns and two elections.
His one-hour-and-22-minute speech was met with an eruption of handshakes in the joint sitting of Parliament, and used words and expressions that advanced the spirit of the conciliatory tone that has characterised his speeches since March 9, when he made a peace pact with opposition leader Raila Odinga at Harambee House in Nairobi.
Hours after the President’s appeal, Deputy President William Ruto also asked for forgiveness from all those he offended.
“In keeping with HE’s (His Excellency’s) statement, I WSR (William Samoei Ruto) unreservedly apologise to anyone offended or hurt in anyway by what I have said or done at any time,” he posted on Twitter.
While speaking on a local radio on Thursday, Mr Khalwale differed with those accepting Mr Kenyatta’s apology claiming that any expression of regret must be preceded by a confession of what one is seeking apologies for.
“Mr Kenyatta did not apologise at all. He only deceived Kenyans,” said Mr Khalwale.