For many observers, the historical divisions between the Kenyatta and Odinga dynasties and the ethnic groups they represent cloud the promise of Kenya's democracy.
The two leaders who had earlier held a lengthy closed door meeting said at a joint news conference that they were committed to join forces and heal divisions occasioned by two presidential elections in August and October a year ago.
As leaders, said Odinga, they had a duty to reflect on their performance in reaching Kenya's goals since independence: justice, unity, peace, liberty and prosperity for all.
President Uhuru Kenyatta greets the visiting U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at State House in Nairobi on Friday.
His planned schedule on Saturday had included a visit to a US-funded HIV/AIDS programme and attendance at a ceremony marking 20 years since Al-Qaeda bombed the USA embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, killing 224 people.
As Raila Odinga and Uhuru Kenyatta toast, hug and laugh in Nairobi, I remain marooned in Canada because I swore the former in at Uhuru Park on January 30th, 2018.
Mr Tillerson assured President Kenyatta that his country was also keen to see continental reforms of the business environment but was glad that the judicial reforms in place meant contracts were respected and there was a clear path on investment.
The decision is reported to have been taken without consultation with key advisers, including Mr Tillerson.
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In the statement, they also rejected the Opposition's mock swearing-in of Mr Odinga as the "people's president", and further criticised Jubilee's excesses of switching off television signals as isolated illegalities.
Allies in his Nasa coalition, including his running mate in last year's poll, Kalonzo Musyoka, said they were not aware of the meeting and promised to give a detailed statement later.
Madaxweynaha Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta ayaa sheegay in Raila Odinga uu yahay Walaalkii, isla markaana ay billaabayaan geedi socodka ay wada xaajoonayaan halka ay dhibaatada iyo kala qeybsanaanto ka timid.
"The US should not be dismissed or discounted".
One member of parliament said Mr Kenyatta, who is in his final term, and Mr Odinga, who turned 73 in January, may be keen on securing their legacies with the newfound unity of objective.
Mr Odinga boycotted the repeat election in October, saying adequate electoral reforms had not been made.
"We are the only country that goes for elections and ends up with an economic slump".
That's not a coincidence, said independent political analyst Martin Andati.
"It's a really good step towards harmonizing the country", said Brian Wanjoki, a pedestrian.