Kenyan leader urges tolerance

June 12, 2010 12:00 am

, PRETORIA, Jun 12 – President Mwai Kibaki on Saturday emphasized the need for Kenyans to accommodate divergent views held by those in different camps in the ongoing constitution debate.

The President said it was the right of every Kenyan to express their views freely, adding that although they may hold divergent views, they are still Kenyans and it is their democratic right to express themselves. 

In the same vein, President Kibaki expressed his support for the proposed new constitution saying the few contentious issues in the document can be amended once the constitution is passed during the forthcoming referendum. 

"The proposed new constitution is over ninety five percent good and there are only a few issues that are contentious.  These will be amended once the constitution is passed at the August 4th referendum", the President said.

The President spoke when he and Prime Minister Raila Odinga met Kenya residents in South Africa at the Kenyan embassy in Pretoria, South Africa. 

The President encouraged the group to portray a good image of country to other nationals and to market Kenya abroad as a key tourist destination. 

He also urged them to freely share their ideas and concerns with the government saying they should take part in the developments going on in their country. 

On the East African Community, the President expressed his satisfaction on the ongoing integration process.

He pointed out that the Common Market Protocol, which will come into force in the coming month, will open up more business opportunities for citizens of member States as well as bring many other benefits.

On his part, Prime Minister Raila Odinga expressed his support for the proposed new constitution. He said the new constitution will allow for dual citizenship and Kenyans abroad should also support it.  The Prime Minister also urged the Kenyans to market Kenya abroad.


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