The following is the New Year message to Kenyans from Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga:
The end of one year and the beginning of another is always a hopeful time.
As we wind down 2018, I join you, fellow Kenyans, in your hopes and wish you a rewarding 2019. While 2018 began as a difficult year, we end it on a hopeful and sane note. I am confident that brighter days are ahead of us.
If we learnt anything in 2018, it should be that as a people, we are as good as the choices we make. We can divide or unite our nation, setting ourselves against one another along tribal lines or coming together as one people with one destiny.
We can unite against corruption and impunity that have long ruined us, or tolerate them and let their purveyors divide us and hold us at ransom. We can create a conducive environment for business and investment or we can make this impossible through endless rhetoric and ethnic balkanization.
Whenever we feel we have lost our way, we can start over and retrace our steps or we can continue down the same wrong path and face its ugly consequences. It is all within our power to make these choices.
In 2018, we chose unity over division. We chose to let the corrupt carry their baggage and pay the price of their sins. We chose a peaceful environment that allows trade and businesses to thrive and jobs to return. We did this by retracing our steps and agreeing to start over again.
We have a long way to go. But if we carry the spirit of difficult but positive choices we made in 2018 into 2019, we shall triumph and be a happier and better country at end of 2019.
Across our borders, many countries in Africa are going to face elections in 2019. They too will have critical choices to make. We wish them peaceful, transparent and democratic processes.
I commit to stick to those difficult positive choices of 2018 and to make more of such so long as they carry Kenya and Africa forward in 2019. Let’s make the choices together.
By Daily Nation