President’s Mashujaa Day 2015 speech

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Fellow Kenyans,

It is with great humility and appreciation to God that I join you on this occasion of the Sixth Anniversary of Mashujaa Day, the third under the Jubilee Administration.  Mashujaa Day is a reflection of our collective recognition that any great nation must honor its heroes as a source of national pride.  Today, we reflect on the enormous progress we have made as well as the challenges we face as a Nation.  The lessons we draw must give us the courage and inspiration to face the future, our common future.

History tells us that a Nation that does not reflect on its past, fails absolutely in charting a steady and sustainable future for itself.  It is only through facing history straight on and having the courage to reflect that we can ensure for ourselves a bright future. As we anchor ourselves and draw lessons from the past, we have to courageously look forward to a future underpinned by the values our heroes and heroines stood for.  We have to work hard to ensure only that which is positive endures.

As we gather today in different parts of our nation, I would like to remind each of us of the progress and strides we have made in fighting poverty, ignorance and disease.  These three remain the greatest challenges that take away our dignity.  We recognize that overcoming poverty is not a task of charity.  It is an act of justice. We also know that poverty is not natural and can be overcome and eradicated by our actions.

As a Nation, we have made some good progress.  However, this progress is nowhere near what we endeavor to achieve.  Nor is it testament to where we want to go.  For there are many of our countrymen who are still unable to afford their basic needs or to enjoy the promise of freedom that independence brought us.  We still have a long journey ahead of us in securing the dignity of our fellow citizens. 

Fellow Kenyans,

We continue to face a number of challenges ranging from terrorism, to crime affecting our homes and neighborhoods.  Terrorism and radicalization of our youth represents an existential threat to our young nation.  Ethnic and clan conflicts, cattle rustling, land, boundary and resource disputes continue to undermine peace and security. Illicit brews, drugs, poaching and proliferation of illegal arms, human trafficking, and organized criminal gangs are a clear and present danger to law and order in the country.  These challenges are working singly and in concert to undermine national cohesion and integration.  They are diverting vital resources that would otherwise be used to grow the economy and improve the lot of our fellow citizens.

These challenges threaten to make nonsense of our individual and collective efforts and put all of our achievements at risk. They negate and pose a serious threat to the progress we have achieved so far. 

The time has come for a sober and honest reflection on how best we can resolve these challenges.  This self-evaluation must take place at the community and national level.  My Government is working to address these challenges and our efforts are bearing fruit.  Our domestic, regional and global engagement has sought agreements and interventions aimed at expanding existing and unlocking new opportunities for our people and our neighbours. 

As Kenyans, we must engage in a serious conversation on how we can make Kenya great and a source of common pride.  In this endeavor, we recognize that we cannot do this without the active engagement of all citizens. My brothers and sisters, it is my Government’s sincere hope that we will spend more time seeking to leverage these opportunities and less on sterile activities that detract us from where we should be heading as a nation. 

Kenya must face these challenges gallantly the way our forefathers faced the colonial masters to liberate our motherland.  We must with one resolve say No to vices that would derail us from the path of progress and prosperity. We must deplore and reject negative traits in all their manifestations.  

Kenyans must cease the culture of tolerating each other and instead begin to celebrate one another united by a common bond of Nationhood and sense of destiny.  We have to say No! to negativity and politics of divisiveness and hatred. We must harness the things that promote unity and oneness in the endeavor to build prosperity for all Kenyans. 

I am convinced that this is the only sure way to conquer poverty, ignorance and disease.  This, fellow countrymen, brothers and sisters, we must do to win this fight during our generation.

We must seize the moment and fulfill the mission of building a prosperous Kenya.

Our generation should be under no illusion. We all have to act as one.  We must not fail.  Let us therefore not squander the opportunity available to us.

Fellow Kenyan,

We celebrate our past and modern day heroes and heroines whose deeds have touched the lives of Kenyans in one-way or another.  Heroes and heroines, for who challenges presented opportunities to excel and prove themselves strong.  They all remind us that no challenge is in insurmountable when we remain united and focused on our goals. 

I, therefore, call upon our leaders at the community and at all other levels to carefully consider the direction we are taking, and whether these are beneficial to the citizens, for whom we are responsible. While we must play our different roles, we must do so in a manner that promotes the unity and cohesiveness of our nation at all levels. Leaders must avoid reckless and inciting utterances that would undermine peace, and cohesiveness.  These can cause irreparable damage to Kenya’s socio-economic fabric.  They must at all times strive to build a better Kenya.

To those hardworking and diligent public servants at all levels of Government, who sometimes work under difficult circumstances to ensure public services are delivered to citizens, I salute you for you are our heroes and heroines. 

To our men and women at arms in the Kenya Defense Forces, the National Police Service, the Kenya Correctional Service, the Kenya Wildlife Service and the Kenya Forest Service.  Some of you have paid the ultimate sacrifice to secure your countrymen and its heritage. They are examples of the selfless sacrifice of our women and men of steel, who stand guard over our Republic.  Your sacrifice, even with your very own lives, will not be in vain. 

To our reliable sportsmen and women, your persistence and effort has propelled you to becoming World Champions placing Kenya on the international map.  You have been our foremost and enduring ambassadors. 

To the parents and guardians who have to toil daily to secure a livelihood for their families, you have our eternal gratitude.  You rise up early to go to work, to provide food for families.  You are indeed Mashujaa, for you keep Kenya going. 

To our hardworking farmers, I salute you. You have tirelessly continued to feed the nation. 

To every other Kenyan who daily contributes, in one way or the other to making Kenya great, I salute you. 

Fellow Kenyans,

I now want to focus on those matters that, in my view, pose the greatest threat to our progress.  While, our Constitution, has granted us with expanded and new freedoms, we must tread carefully, for freedom places a huge requirement on every citizen to act responsibly.  I am therefore saddened and dismayed that at times our actions suggest a people who have forgotten that with freedom come onerous responsibilities, to fellow citizens and us.  Through some of our actions, we insult and abuse the sacrifices that our forefathers and other great Kenyans made and continue to make.

The time has come, for us to carefully consider what our individual, institutional and collective responsibilities towards each other and to the Nation of Kenya are.  Without understanding and appreciating our responsibilities, our expanded freedoms mean nothing.  Indeed, they can easily become a recipe for the destruction of the future that we all so earnestly seek to build. 

By taking for granted the freedoms we enjoy, we have and are engaging in activities that endanger the very existence of the nation state we love to call Kenya.  It makes us vulnerable to our enemies, internal and external.  This represents a major threat to this country.  We must seriously, consciously and honestly look inside and determine the type of future we want to bequeath our children and childrens’ children, for the generations to come.

Fellow Kenyans,

As a country, we must look up to the values our forefathers espoused and finally delivered our country from the yoke of colonialism and domination.  On the strength of their highly held values, they secured the future for us.  

We are equally obligated to secure the future of this nation by practicing the values that bind us as a nation and which aspire for common good.  This is therefore the time to recapture the future of our nation for generations to come.

Our forefathers, bound by unity of purpose, self-discipline and hard work wrested our country from the jaws of colonialism.  Equally, we can liberate our country from poverty, disunity and hatred by engaging in values that redefine us as a Nation.

The time has come for us, as Kenyans to promote a culture of truthfulness.  It is sad to see how by our own actions, we have seriously undermined our own moral compass.  It is therefore important to act swiftly to regain the values we have lost, as it is critical for our future. 

Today, it is appalling to see leaders engaged in actions and issuance of statements that run counter to the values we hold dear as a people, when instead they should be beacons of hope for those they lead.  Hope for a better tomorrow.  Hope for a united Kenya.  We should not run away from this, our solemn obligation.

I therefore appeal to all Kenyans to join hands, embrace honest and hard work to facilitate higher economic development.  I wish therefore to echo the call of our National Anthem: Natujenge taifa letu, ee ndio wajibu wetu, Kenya istahili heshima, tuungane mikono pamoja kazini, kila siku tuwe na shukrani. 

Fellow Kenyans,

To build a strong united country, my Government has developed and adopted Sessional Paper No. 9 on National Cohesion and Integration.  This will help the country to address some of the challenges, which are a hindrance to national cohesion and integration. I am happy to report that implementation of this policy is on course.

Elders are custodians and drivers of traditional values such as forgiveness, respect, honesty, responsibility, communication, love, team spirit, dialogue, integrity, commitment, faithfulness and loyalty which they pass over to the youths and children.  My Government will therefore facilitate the institutionalization and structuring of Elders’ Councils from the village to the national level, this with a view to ensuring they play a larger role in promoting National Values and harmonious coexistence in their respective communities.

My Government recognizes this key role played by community elders in alternative dispute resolution processes, youth mentorship, the promotion of harmony, reconciliation, cohesion and augmenting institutional and organizational frameworks on conflict management and resolution within the diverse ethnic, religious and racial groups residing in the country. 

Recognizing the central role that values play in defining a people’s identity as well as in guiding their choices as behaviour, my administration is keen to ensure that strategic measures are put in place and implemented for the realization of national values. Towards this end a Baseline Survey on National Values and Principles of Governance will be commissioned for the whole country.  The results will inform the design and implementation of further the programmes to be rolled out. In addition, the results will be instrumental in the development of National Values and Standards aimed at promoting mainstreaming and compliance in our daily lives.

Fellow Kenyans,

It is evident that in the face of impossible odds, people who love their country can transform it.  While my Government will do everything in its ability to bring about the transformation we seek, I count on every Kenyan’s full support for Kenya to attain lasting change and enduring transformation. You the citizen, working with the Government, will be the ones to bring change to Kenya.

Fellow Kenyans,

The economy is robust.  We are growing.  We are healthy.   Let me highlight a few achievements of our Government.

Title Deeds

In the 50 years since Independence to 2013, we issued 5.6 million titles. But in the period since 2013, our Administration has issued 2,322,913 titles.

Education

First time in Kenyan history, no parent has been asked to pay exam fees for his or her child in primary or secondary school.   Our Government has increased capitation for primary schools by 40% and secondary schools by 35 %.  The budget for free primary education was 8.96 billion in 2012/2013, and this has risen to 14.1b in the current financial year. Similarly, the budget for secondary school education was 19.2 billion in 2012/2013 rising to 32.5b this year. The budgetary allocation for the Higher Education Loans Board was 5.5b in 2012/2013, and has risen to 7.6b this year.

Security

We have added 2,400 new vehicles to the police fleet, significantly enhancing mobility.

Huduma Centres 

To enhance service delivery, we have built more than 40 Huduma Centres across the country.  Huduma, as you well know, is a Jubilee innovation.  More than 5m Kenyans served who previously would have had to travel long distances to receive such service.   I commend all public servants who have adopted to this service.

Electricity connections

We had 8,000 Schools connected to power before Jubilee.   Since 2013, we have grown that figure to 20,450.  Out of these, 750 schools are connected to solar power. 1150 primary schools remain to be connected, but all will be connected by end of November.  The Good news, my fellow Kenyans, continues. Kenyans connected to power before Jubilee were 2.3m.  Today, we have increased that to 4.1m — that’s an additional 1.6m Kenyans. It means that the Kenyans with access to power is now about 50 percent compared to 32 percent before 2013.  With our plan to put a million Kenyans on the grid every year, we expect to meet our target of enabling access to 75 percent of our people. We had 1,660 megawatts of power when we came to office.  We have added 600 megawatts of clean energy.  For the first time we have a margin of reserve energy. When we came to office, we had 2,200km of transmission lines.  We have added 700 km of transmission lines for a total of 2,900 currently.

Social Protection

710,000 people today benefit from social protection compared to 226,700 when we came to office.

Opportunities for women, youth and people with disabilities

Over 80,000 businesses have registered by Youth, Women and persons with disability since 2013.   Of these, over 30,000 have received business from Government in last year totalling over 30 billion shillings.  We are sorting out challenge of registration and seek to streamline this.   All Ministries must ensure that once goods are delivered and invoices raised, there is no reason why they should not be paid in 2 weeks considering they have borrowed.

Fertiliser subsidy

When we came to office, fertiliser cost 2,700.  Today fertiliser costs 1,800 shillings.  We have an increase in production as a result.  Subsidised fertiliser has also been made available to farmers in the maize, wheat, tea, coffee and sugarcane sectors.

Media and telephony

The number of TV stations has risen to 55 Stations this year from 14 in 2013.  Radio Stations up to 126 from 108.  This has largely resulted from the opportunities presented by digital migration.  Many jobs have been created as a result of digital migration. Mobile telephony has increased by over 20%. In this context, I urge the National Assembly to re-look at Media Bill and ensure it does not infringe on constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech and media.  Particularly, legislators should review the offending sections.

Devolution

The Jubilee Administration has been Responsible for the implementation of a whole new constitutional dispensation.  We have done it.  We are very proud of this achievement.  Devolution may not be working perfectly but it exists and it is the duty of every Kenyan to make sure it succeeds.  Less noise more work.

Healthcare

Hospitals are getting new equipment.  10 hospitals done.  Our target is 94 hospitals countrywide and we remain very much on course. When we came to Office, there were 40 dialysis machines existed in Kenya.  Once we are through with our programme will have additional 245 dialysis machines across Kenya. 2 years ago, incidences of malaria at out-patient facilities was 30%.  Today, we have slashed that to 10% as a result of distributing 13.6 million mosquito nets.

We have also increased access to ARVs from 600,000 people when we came to office to 850,000 Kenyans covered today.  Our target is to cover an additional 600,000; meaning that 90% of Kenyans living with HIV will be given treatment. Despite challenges with immunization, 85% of Kenyan children are now immunized.  We are well above the WHO standard of 80%. 

With regard to NHIF – When we got to office 4 million Kenyan families had insurance cover.  Now, we have added another 1.7 million families.  This translates to 26 million Kenyans that have insurance cover.

Our free maternity programme has borne fruit. When we came to office only 44 percent of women gave birth in medical facilities. At present, 68 percent of our mothers are attending hospitals for childbirth.  In 2013, Maternal mortality was 488 per 100,000, and has declined to 310 per 100,000 today.  Likewise, the child mortality rate has declined from 72 per 1,000 to 52 per 1,000 today.  In the coming weeks, I will meet the leaders of the most affected counties to ensure we bring this down. 

SGR 

The SGR 55% done.  We are extending to Naivasha as a result of this good progress.  Plans underway for Industrial Park in Naivasha.  In addition, the new container terminal in Mombasa will be ready by next year February. Meantime, the upgrade of JKIA continues apace. We should have a modern hub in due course. The Road from Mwatate to Taveta, having been spoken about for 50 years, has now started. 

NYS

NYS over 100,000 community Youth engaged in various programmes.  The NYS School has expanded from a capacity of 4,000 to 30,000 young men and women undergoing various vocational training.  Yes, there are problems that have arisen but we shall sort them out. 

Lastly on this subject, the Youth empowerment programme is central to our Government and we shall expand this to all corners of Kenya. 

Fellow Kenyans,

Our unity of purpose, if well harnessed can positively transform Kenya.  Let us all choose to be heroes and heroines for our country.

Thank you and God Bless You All!

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