|Written By:PPS, Sun, Dec 12, 2010—-KCBNews|
President Mwai Kibaki Sunday said Kenya will not be intimidated by foreigners and urged wananchi not to worry as the Government has the capacity to run the country’s affairs without patronage.
Speaking at Nyayo National Stadium when he led the nation in marking the 47th Jamhuri Day, President Kibaki emphasized that the Government will not allow foreign interference to derail the country’s reform agenda.
“Some people think that because they are financially endowed they can use their money to corrupt our youth and destabilize our country. I want to state that they will not succeed in their misguided motives,” President Kibaki said.
The President, at the same time, appealed to Kenyans to embrace a new way of thinking dictated by the new Constitution and to view counties as the latest focal points of governing and service delivery.
Assuring that the national government will work closely with each county to exploit its respective potential, President Kibaki said that each county should seek to attain the status of an industrialization and urbanization centre.
The President declared that every county has abundant resources which, if exploited appropriately, can turn the economy around and called upon Kenyans to identify key towns within their region to become industrial and service centres.
The Head of State affirmed that each county shall be expected to avail land for industrial and urban use while, at the same, in collaboration with the national government to install vital infrastructure, utilities and offer incentives to attract investors to build factories in their regions.
Noting that this is the first Jamhuri Day since Kenyans got a new Constitution, President Kibaki paid glowing tribute to the nation’s founding fathers and freedom fighters who led the courageous liberation struggle.
“This is the day we commemorate our achievement of full independence as a free people and free nation. Our freedom and independence was hard won. We must always cherish and defend it,” stated the President.
During the colourful occasion, the President vividly described the kind of nation he foresees to the public, “I look forward to an era in which counties endowed with beautiful landscapes, wildlife, beaches and other leisure and recreation facilities, will develop these into attractive tourism facilities for local, regional and international tourism.”
He expressed his desire to see Kenyans share a common vision of seeking to fully utilize the presently underutilized potential in all counties, an era where locally available minerals can be transformed into items of higher value such as steel and precious metals or stones.
Said the President, “We are moving into an era when the unused renewable energy sources in our counties such as wind, biomass, solar and geothermal energy, will be harnessed to transform our nation into a regional energy powerhouse. An era in which factories will be located in our livestock and crop producing counties to manufacture and export finished leather goods, beef and dairy products. Those with crop agriculture should also process and add value as they produce branded tea and coffee, fruit juice and other industrial products for export.”
Among facilities the Head of State wants developed in the counties include attractive housing schemes, transportation, health facilities and vital social amenities that attract professionals to live, work and invest in the regions.
“This will ensure that each of the 47 counties will have the necessary infrastructure to develop higher productivity and value added agriculture; livestock keeping, fisheries as well as industrial activities,” the President remarked.
He acknowledged that Kenyans are full of optimism as well as hope and assured them of Government’s commitment to turn these hopes and aspirations into a reality particularly the implementation of the new Constitution.
Urging Kenyans to refocus their energies and passions on the political, economic and social transformation of the country, President Kibaki called upon legislators to approve the nominees to the commission for the implementation of the Constitution to ensure timely accomplishment of national renewal.
The Head of State reassured the nation of the Grand Coalition Government’s commitment towards enactment of the proposed laws with integrity and fidelity to the Constitution.
In this regard the President said, “We do appreciate that there will be challenges in the process of implementing the Constitution. As a Government, we are committed to engaging in consultation and dialogue for the sake of our nation.”
He affirmed that the new Constitution was achieved through the most robust and inclusive process with due regard to the country’s future adding that the new constitution’s bill of rights guarantees Kenyans decent and fulfilled lives.
The President observed, “The referendum on and the promulgation of the new Constitution signaled the end of this political dialogue, and the start of implementing what we, as a people, have established as our binding Constitution.”
In order to safeguard national unity, President Kibaki directed the Commissioner of Police and the National Cohesion and Integration Commission to promptly deal with individuals as well as groups engaging in hate speech.
He reiterated that the Grand Coalition Government will continue to consult on various issues affecting the country so as to continue enjoying the prevailing productive partnership whose achievements are not only visible but also beneficial to the country.
The President particularly asked wananchi to demonstrate patience and political maturity as the process of dispensing justice in regard to the post election violence got underway at the International Criminal Court.
He urged communities to embrace national healing and reconciliation as well as to be guided by the spirit of forgiveness to enable the country move ahead.
“We are one indivisible nation. God meant us to live together harmoniously. Let us all embrace peace and the spirit of forgiveness to enable our nation move ahead. Let us not engage in utterances that compromise our national unity,” said the President.
On security, President Kibaki promised Kenyans that elaborate measures will be taken to ensure they carried out their daily duties peacefully.
“Security of all Kenyans is core to the well-being of our nation. The Government is doing everything in its power to ensure that Kenyans can carry out their daily activities peacefully,” assured the Head of State.
Urging wananchi to cooperate with the police, the Head of State reiterated that the Government will ruthlessly deal with the twin vices of corruption and drug cartels.
Asserting that corrupt people are enemies of the nation, the President urged Kenyans to desist from political posturing in the course of fight against corruption.
He said, “We will also deal ruthlessly with drug cartels. I have already directed the Commissioner of Police to ensure that any individuals involved in this trade should be arrested and charged without regard to their status. I call on all Kenyans to co-operate with the police in dealing with illicit drug dealers.”
President Kibaki expressed confidence that the economy was on the path to commendable growth based on solid performance in the social sector and was expected to grow at 5.4 per cent and two years of reduced growth.
The Head of State hailed the growth rate of the tourism sector standing at 15 per cent while important amenities like clean water had been provided to additional 2.5 million Kenyans residing both in rural and urban areas.
He observed, “Sectors such as agriculture, tourism, building and construction, as well as a rapid expansion of private credit and lower interest rates and inflation have contributed to this growth. This is expected to continue over the next two years, with a forecast of between 6.5 and 8 per cent by the year TWENTY TWELVE.”
In order to attain food security, the government expanded the area under irrigation by 6,500 hectares which yielded 185,000 bags of maize while about 27,000 fish ponds build and equipped throughout the country.
The President reiterated that the Government will continue to invest heavily in the education sector for the benefit of the country’s youth.
Said the President, “About 1.8 billion shillings will be spent in supporting youth polytechnics through subsidized tuition fees, construction of infrastructure, equipment and hiring of instructors. The vacancies for 2,000 new instructors have been advertised and will be filled over the next few weeks.”
He, however, noted that such huge investment in the sector could only bear fruit if the young people are gainfully employed after graduation and hence the government’s launch empowerment programmes such as the Kazi Kwa Vijana and Youth Enterprise Fund. The President also acknowledged that the initiatives were inadequate and called for changed mode of thinking.
“The only way to secure our future as a peaceful, law abiding and productive society is investment in projects that create long-term jobs and growth prospects. I call upon more Kenyans to join together in co-operatives and companies and invest in industrial and service sector facilities that will grow and create jobs for our people,” affirmed the Head of State.
In this regard, the President directed relevant ministries to devise creative ways of assisting Kenyans to form companies and cooperatives to enable them invest in viable business ventures in industrial, energy and service sectors.
President Kibaki appealed, “I equally encourage the private sector and foreign investors to take advantage of our political stability, conducive business environment as well as our skilled human resource base to establish and expand enterprises in various sectors of our economy.”
During the celebrations the Head of State sent a message of goodwill to all Kenyans throughout the festive season and wished them a prosperous, blessed new year. He, however, cautioned motorists against speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol.
Said the President, “Finally, as the year comes to an end, it is my sincere hope that we will all take time to rest and reflect on our achievements, both individual and collective. I also appeal to motorists to avoid speeding and driving while under the influence of alcohol. As you relax and enjoy the holidays, I encourage you to celebrate with moderation.”
Speaking during the occasion, Prime Minister Raila Odinga said foreigners should respect Kenya, adding that they have no right to dictate to Kenyans as if they were governors.
“We are a friendly country and welcome foreigners but they should not backstab us,” the Prime Minister said.
On the Constitution, the Prime Minister assured Kenyans that Parliament will not block the implementation of the new supreme law of the country.
Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka, on his part, thanked President Kibaki for leading the country into ushering in a new Constitution that signals a better future for Kenyans.
Later, President Kibaki and First Lady Mama Lucy Kibaki hosted a colourful garden party at State House Nairobi for Cabinet Ministers, Members of Parliament, members of the diplomatic corps and other invited guests.
During the occasion, President Kibaki also decorated outstanding Kenyans with various national awards for their distinguished services to the country.