ODM presidential candidate Raila Odinga lauded President Uhuru Kenyatta for the great work he has done since the beginning of his tenure.

Raila spoke during Jamhuri Day celebrations at Uhuru Gardens grounds on Sunday after Uhuru handed him a chance to address those gathered at the venue, a move that left many baffled given the President was supposed to be the last to speak, according to protocol.

The ODM boss emphasised the president's remarks about the history of Kenya and said Kenyans must know Uhuru Gardens was chosen for a reason.

Raila revealed there was a motion in parliament about the site of intended grounds and that there were three sites.

He said Uhuru Gardens were chosen because of its historical significance given freedom fighters were tortured in detention camps located in adjacent Langata area and the ground is where the Union Jack was lowered and the Kenyan flag hoisted at independence in 1963.

“This one here was called open ground next to Nairobi Dam. This one was chosen because it was a concentration camp where as the president has said, freedom fighters were tortured like they were tortured in Hitler’s Auschwitz and Buchenwald, here next to the Weston Hotel, which was part of these grounds,” Raila said.

Raila also revealed that there were torture chambers in Langata Primary School, which have been preserved by the Museum of Kenya.

“In Langata Primary School, there are torture chambers which have been preserved by the Museum of Kenya for people to know where we are coming from,” Raila added.

The ODM leader said what President Uhuru did at the Uhuru Gardens was historic and significant for the country.

Raila also took issue with UDA leaders who have opposed his narration of history in his rallies and meetings. 

“There are those who say, forget about the past, you want to look at the future. The past is very important because if you don’t look at the past, you’re likely to repeat the same mistakes you made in the past. And here you say you want history unedited here. People will come to know who Waiyaki wa Hinga was, who Harry Thuku was and so many of our heroes here,” Raila said.

Raila congratulated the president for his legacy work that he said will only be recognised many years after the president has left office.

“…and people are going to be surprised at what you’ve done here. It shows your vision for this nation of our country. So we therefore your excellency, I want to congratulate you in front of fellow Kenyans here, for the work that you have done that will only be recognised many years after you have left office,” Raila said.

The former Premier also praised Uhuru’s efforts to reclaim the land, which he said had already been grabbed. 

“We congratulate you, and this land had been grabbed by those land grabbers who would not see any open space and stop grabbing them. But you managed to retrieve it back for the benefit of our people and is going to remain truly, Uhuru Gardens, where we are also going to bury our heroes and remember them for posterity, I thank you,” Raila added.

Those remarks were widely believed to have been directed to the DP who is associated with the Weston Hotel

He finished his speech by wishing the nation a Merry Christmas and a happy new year.