He said politics is not a sprint but a marathon, insisting Kenyans will take a brutal shock at developments in the State House race.
The president said campaigns of discrimination, including age, were backward and leaders should be elected on the basis of their intellectual capacities.
“People are elected on the basis of their intellectual ability, not their physical strength. Leadership is the brain, it's not a football game,” Uhuru said in apparent defense of his handshake partner.
Raila is 76 years old.
Uhuru praised his handshake deal with Raila, saying it stabilizes the country.
According to the president, peace has been useful during the time of Covid-19 because despite the difficulty, the country remains stable as it struggles to rebuild itself.
“You can start early (campaigns) with speed, but before long you are tired and the person you called old will come at their pace and overtake you,” the president said.
He told Kenyans to take their time deciding their next president and not fall for populist promises that sound appealing.
“I want to urge you to think and not to be in a hurry, do not rush. Better, you are accused of being slow, but you reach your destination safely,” he said.
According to Uhuru, the 2022 race requires experience.
“Do not be in a hurry to be president, be calm you will get there. Don't be so lonely that you blame everyone, but you don't want to work with them,” the president said, apparently referring to his deputy.
"If you become president by life or death, be sure that you will never have peace in your leadership and that the country will be in trouble."
Ruto has been accused on several occasions of engaging in early campaigns alongside a cabal of elected leaders who together have crisscrossed the country, popularizing the con artist's story and denigrating the head of state.
But yesterday the harsh-speaking president said Kenyans shouldn't be surprised that those who started the first few campaigns are being overtaken by those who were initially seen as non-starters.
Recent opinion polls have shown that Ruto remains ahead of his competition in the 2022 political contest.
In what signaled a man keen to take firm ownership of his succession race, Uhuru announced that he would personally embark on campaigns to ensure the country is in good hands.
"I have nothing to hide; there are no votes that I am looking for. All I am looking for is peace and unity for all Kenyans and that is what will help us to do so that all our problems, especially unemployment, are solved,” said the president.
"It's not politics time yet, but we'll come and play politics when that time comes."
All the major policies in the country's history, he said, always begin in Nakuru.
Uhuru spoke in Nakuru upon granting city status to Nakuru Municipality, making it the fourth largest city after the cities of Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.
The ceremony was attended by Raila, Chairman of the Board of Governors and Governor of Embu Martin Wambora, Governor of Nakuru Lee Kinyanjui as well as Governors Wycliffe Oparanya (Kakamega), Anyang 'Nyong'o (Kisumu), Francis Kimemia (Nyandarua), James Ongwae (Kisii), Kivutha Kibwana (Makueni) and Nakuru West MP Samuel Arama.
Other national figures in attendance included Transport CS James Macharia, Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka and Kanu Chairman Gideon Moi.
The president recounted how he was blamed for his handshake with the ODM boss that ended the political chaos that followed the 2017 presidential election.
According to the president, the truce with Raila saved the country which at the time had lost more than 1,000 billion shillings to investors fleeing the country.
“No major investor is ready to invest in a troubled country, we must not take peace for granted,” Uhuru said.
He further called on Kenyans not to take peace for granted, explaining that a government shaken by chaos and violence cannot keep its promises.
Raila took the opportunity to welcome Kenyans to Nairobi on December 10 where he will formally declare his candidacy at Azimio La Umoja's final meeting.
The ODM chief stressed the need for Kenyans to remain united even as the country heads towards the 2022 elections.
He said that it is only through peaceful coexistence that Kenya can make progress and achieve the aspirations of the Founding Fathers.
“These days I'm promoting Azimio La Umoja which is basically about bringing our people together. Our people must live in peace and love each other knowing fully that they are first Kenyan before being a member of their respective ethnic community,” Raila said.
I want to invite you on December 10th to come to Nairobi where we will talk about Azimio La Umoja for all Kenyans.
Gideon, who is also the senator for Baringo, said Nakuru, home to Kenya's 42 tribes, will vote one direction in the 2022 election.
He urged residents to coexist peacefully and avoid the leaders inciting them against each other.
"Nakuru being the home of all tribes, let us all remain peaceful and united and know which road we will take in 2022," said the chairman of Kanu.
In June, senators voted to approve a report by the House devolution committee that recommended granting city status to the municipality of Nakuru.
The committee chaired by Homa Bay Senator Moses Kajwang found that Nakuru met all the conditions for elevation.
Yesterday, the president granted a charter to graduate the city to city status.
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