Kenya’s Speaker urges unity

August 1, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 1 – The Speaker of the National Assembly Kenneth Marende on Sunday urged Kenyans to remain united after the Wednesday referendum on the proposed Constitution.

Mr Marende urged winners and losers of the referendum to exercise restraint in manner they celebrate or express their reservations on the outcome.

“We want to see an outcome that will be enduring and leave the Kenyan Nation intact and stronger. Kenya shall continue to be after August 4, 2010,” he observed.

The Speaker said the country should not witness the barbarism that it faced after the 2007 General Election.

“We must therefore exhibit restraint in the manner that we celebrate or express our reservations on the outcome so that we set a democratic example for posterity,” Mr Marende added.

He told a congregation after opening a Seventh Day Adventist sanctuary at Nairobi’s South C estate that for Kenya to remain united, the “Yes” and “No” team must embrace each other after the vote to ensure the country moved forward.

The nation, he added, must find tolerance, temperance and fortitude in the face of trepidation and anxiety to go through the referendum and come out as one.

The Speaker who said Kenya was headed for a new beginning after the referendum also asked leaders not to “live in the past”.

In an apparent reference to the spat between President Mwai Kibaki and former President Daniel arap Moi, Mr Marende said the country cannot live in its history.

“We have heard that we did not have a new Constitution in 24 years and that we did not have a new Constitution in 100 days but what matters is that we are set to have a new Constitution this year…this is what matters.”

Mr Marende, who was accompanied by Kinangop MP David Ngugi, said he stood by the decision of Parliament adopting the proposed Constitution.

He argued that the referendum was not an end unto itself and urged leaders to respect each others opinion however contrary to set a democratic example for posterity.

“I encourage my colleagues in leadership, at all levels of our society, to espouse the fundamental principles and values of patriotism, peace and the democratic attitude of respecting others’ opinions however contrary or opposed they may be to one’s own.”

The referendum, he added, provides an opportunity to the country to demonstrate to the world that Kenya can conduct democratic, peaceful, mature and decent polls devoid of violence.


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