President Uhuru Kenyatta and Nasa presidential candidate Raila Odinga have said they will concede defeat should they lose in the fresh presidential election set for October 26.
Mr Kenyatta said he had chosen to respect the Supreme Court ruling that nullified his August 8 election victory and opted to return to the ballot.
He challenged Mr Odinga to concede defeat should he lose in the rerun.
“We respect the decision (of the court), even if we do not agree with it.
“Let us wait for the ballot. Let’s get back to work… so that Kenyans can decide and whatever they will decide, we shall accept it and move on,” Mr Kenyatta said in his brief address to mourners who had attended the burial of former Nairobi mayor Samuel Mbugua’s Marion Farm home at Kirigiti, Kiambu.
Mbugua was the father of former Nairobi Woman Rep Rachel Shebesh.
Earlier, Mr Odinga had said that should Mr Kenyatta defeat him in the fresh election, he would accept and move on.
He said this would not be the first time he would be doing so, since during the 2013 election, he lost and after the court upheld Mr Kenyatta’s victory, he accepted and moved on.
“Political competitions are not wars. People campaign, fight (and) there are winners and losers, and life continues,” Mr Odinga told the mourners.
“We campaigned the last time (2013) then we contested in court, the court made a ruling and we said we accepted and we moved on for the last four and a half years.
“We are here again and I am sure we are going to resolve these issues. Or if it’s my brother Uhuru (who will win), I will accept the will of the people because I know if it’s me he will also respect that.
“Uhuru is my younger brother, and even the other day, I said that he should respect wazees,” Mr Odinga, who was accorded a warm reception, said.
When it was his turn to speak, Mr Kenyatta said: “Raila has just said here that Uhuru should respect his elders. I always respect them, and I want to ask him to also respect the will of Kenyans.”
Mr Odinga had been referring to the spat between the President and Chief Justice David Maraga who heads the Supreme Court team of judges that annulled the presidential election results.
President Kenyatta and his deputy have criticised the court in light of the ruling but have nevertheless accepted it and launched fresh campaigns.
The two arch-rivals were sharing a platform for the first time since the Supreme Court nullified President Kenyatta’s win on September 1.
Mr Odinga said that Mr Mbugua, a former city councillor, had served as the chairman of the Orange Democratic party (ODM) Kiambu branch and that he had gone there to bury him as a party member.
The burial was attended by politicians from both the Jubilee Party and Nasa.
The only politicians who spoke were Jubilee governors Ferdinand Waititu (Kiambu), Anne Waiguru (Kirinyaga) and Joyce Laboso (Bomet) as well as Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja.
Governor Waititu asked Mr Odinga to respect the Constitution by respecting the will of the people, saying Kenya is a democratic nation where people decide who will be their leaders.
“We all know that the former Prime Minister really fought so that this country can have a Constitution that will guide the running on this country (and) we are asking you (Raila) that you follow the Constitution you fought for.
“Constitution has said that the will of the people is superior,” Mr Waititu said, adding that Jubilee leaders will not accept any attempts to have a coalition government.
Governor Waiguru also asked Mr Odinga and his team to respect the court decision unconditionally.
She also asked Opposition leaders to tone down their rhetoric.
“The only thing we can ask you former Prime Minister, together with your Nasa people, is that you accept the judgment… You cannot select parts of the ruling to accept the nullification of the election but refuse another part that says it be repeated within 60 days because that’s the only option we have, and we pray that you will accept the outcome (of the repeat) so that we can move this country away from politics,” Ms Waiguru said.
Ms Laboso said Kenyans were tired of politicking, and asked the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to do the best within its powers to conduct an election whose outcome will not be contested.
Mr Sakaja said President Kenyatta would still defeat Mr Odinga because the same people who voted in August will return to the ballot.
Ms Shebesh, who also expressed confidence that Mr Kenyatta would win, cautioned leaders from the political divide against dividing Kenyans along ethnic lines.
Later in the day, Mr Odinga called a press conference during which he and other Nasa leaders said their conditions must be met before he can participate in the next election.
While not rejecting the new date outright, Mr Odinga protested that he had not consulted.
“We have not received any communication from the electoral commission about the new date,” he said.
“Nasa remains ready for a contest with Uhuru but only when the irreducible minimums we have put out are met.
“With every passing day, it is getting clear that the conditions will not be met and so there will be no elections. We will not allow Uhuru to take the country down the path of failed nations.”
On Thursday, the electoral commission announced that the fresh presidential election ordered by the Supreme Court will be held on October 26, just five days ahead of the 60 days deadline set by the Constitution.
While announcing the date, IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati said the decision was taken to ensure the commission is adequately prepared in light of the court’s full judgment delivered on Wednesday.
Mr Odinga also criticised President Uhuru Kenyatta for his sustained attack against the Supreme Court judges.
“Ever since the Supreme Court declared Uhuru Kenyatta’s so-called victory in the August polls as invalid, null and void, Uhuru has been on an ill-informed and extremely unfortunate war path with Kenya,” he said.
The Nasa leader said Kenyans will not allow the President to polarise the country ahead of the fresh poll with threats against the Supreme Court judges.
“If Uhuru will not stop, if he will not respect the Constitution and particularly the independent Judiciary that Kenyans fought so hard to bring to fruition, Kenyans are prepared to stop him,” Mr Odinga said.
The criticism came just hours after the two had shown restrain during the burial in Kiambu.
President’s speech appears to borrow heavily from Justice Njoki Ndung’u’s judgment.