, KISII, Kenya, March 12 – President Mwai Kibaki has urged Kenyans to rise above partisan interests and take personal responsibility in their shared duty of building a cohesive and peaceful country.
The President particularly impressed on leaders to work together, avoid divisive tendencies and respect one another to ensure the nation forges ahead in the reform agenda and other priority programmers.
The Head of State noted that petty wrangles, jealousies and divisive tendencies undermined national unity and harmony among Kenyans.
At the same time, the President also appealed to religious leaders, as partners in development, to play a leading role in uniting Kenyans in their quest for a just, cohesive and prosperous nation.
The Head of State was speaking during the inauguration of centenary celebrations to mark 100 years of Catholic Evangelization in the Kisii region at the Gusii stadium.
Earlier, the President officially opened the Pope Benedict XVI Minor Seminary, Kisii.
"As a nation we are also called upon to fully embrace the spirit of national healing and reconciliation in a process which must involve all Kenyans", said President Kibaki.
The President emphasized that leaders need to work together and at all times to respect one another and especially this period when efforts are being geared towards developing requisite infrastructure.
He asked Kenyans to beware of a few disgruntled elements out to divide them through negative human traits and destructive competition that only tend to undermine their unity.
Reminding Kenyans that God wished them to co-exist harmoniously, the President called upon citizens to play their individual and collective roles effectively to develop a country they would take pride of as their home.
The Head of State commended the catholic faithfuls and leadership in Kisii for successfully completing construction of the Seminary, which, he added, stands out as an icon in the provision of both academic and spiritual education to Kenyans.
The President reaffirmed his government commitment to expand education opportunities for all Kenyans.
The Head of State urged the church to ensure that the seminary acts as an institution of excellence where vocations are nurtured, and young people moulded to respond to the noble task of serving God both in church and society.
He said: "I note with encouragement that since my last visit, great strides have been made, resulting in the opening of this magnificent minor seminary. This is an important event in the Catholic calendar. It gives the Diocese an opportunity to celebrate the progress you have made over the last 100 years and reflect on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead."
With regard to government revenue, the President impressed on Kenyans to pay taxes on time to ensure equitable development in the country.
Without adequate funds, President Kibaki said, the government will not be able to fulfill her pledges in infrastructural development and other priorities.
The Apostolic Nuncio to Kenya Alain Paul Lebeaupin, who is the Pope\’s representative in Kenya, celebrated the solemn mass inaugurating the centenary commemoration activities to mark Catholic Evangelization in the Kisii region.
Speaking during the occasion, Public Works Minister Dr. Chris Obure called for hastened implementations of the constitution to enable Kenyans reap benefits of the new law.
Lauding the church for 100 years of Catholic Evangelization in the region, the Minister stressed the need for effective management of available resources by both the public and private institutions to realize desired effects.