, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 14 – President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta now says that the Jubilee coalition will continue working, as it awaits a formal take-over of government once a petition the Coalition for Reform and Democracy (CORD) plans to file tomorrow, is determined.
He told a group of women leaders in Nairobi on Thursday that he would not stop collecting views from various stakeholders, as he prepares to officially assume office, because his government wantsto embark on fulfilling all the promises made to Kenyans.
Kenyatta and his deputy President-elect William Ruto have already been holding meetings with different envoys and top security chiefs for regular briefings since they were declared winners of last week’s polls.
And on Tuesday the two Jubilee leaders held a meeting with President Mwai Kibaki at State House, Nairobi.
“We are not denying anybody their democratic right to pursue whatever course but we are not going to waste one single moment that God has given us because we are waiting for a ruling,” he said.
“The judicial process proceeds and the Jubilee government continues to prepare to govern this nation,” he said.
He added that time had come to move the country forward: “Kenyans are not ready to see us as leaders continue to bicker while they continue to suffer.”
Kenyatta further assured women that he would place them in strategic leadership positions once he formally takes over from President Kibaki.
He said that it was necessary to include women in the country’s decision making structures, as part of the requirements of the Constitution.
“We will not only fully implement the one-third law, but we will also endeavour to appoint women in strategic positions in government so that their voices can be heard,” he promised.
The women leaders had asked him and Ruto to set aside two-thirds of the Cabinet positions to them.
A former East African Legislative Assembly member, Rose Waruhiu, argued that gender balance must be met across all leadership positions, as the elected leaders prepare to take up their offices.
“I want to dare you to give women more than two-third positions in Cabinet,” she challenged.
The women have further urged the Jubilee leaders to implement the laws that will protect children from sexual abuse and female genital mutilation.
Maendeleo Ya Wanawake Chairperson Rukia Subow added that the interests of marginalized women must also be safeguarded.
“We know that ministries are going to be shrunk but we don’t want to lose the Ministry on women and children issues. And I would also like to plead with you to have a special eye on women from marginalised areas,” she said.
Kenyatta and Ruto once again vowed to honour all their promises including those that touch on women’s economic empowerment and education.
“I received a text from a friend telling me that his class one daughter is already asking when she will get her laptop so people are following what we promised and we must begin working,” said Ruto.
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