, BERLIN, Germany April 7 – President Uhuru Kenyatta, at the end of a historic visit to Germany, has pledged free and credible elections next year on the back of an entrenched democratic culture in Kenya.
The President told Kenyans in Berlin on Thursday night that the Government will find cash to finance registration of all eligible Kenyans as voters – at home and abroad – ahead of next year’s General Election.
Kenyans at home and in the Diaspora had equal rights to register as voters and participate in choosing their future leaders and this would be adhered to, he told a 1,000-strong ecstatic audience.
He said that discussions were on-going between the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and the National Treasury on sourcing of funds to financing the elections activities.
“I consider the Diaspora as the 48th County and, like other Kenyans, are shareholders in the country and have equal right to quality services including facilitation to participate in the general elections,” said the President, the first Kenyan Head of State to make an official visit to Berlin in two decades.
President Kenyatta allayed fears that the elections will be manipulated in any way, assuring Kenyans and the international community that the poll will be free and credible.
“What Kenyans want is a free and fair electoral process and that’s what we are working to achieve”, President Kenyatta said.
He commended the Diaspora for the remittances that have maintained an upward trend in the country over the recent past, and which significantly contribute to the country’s foreign exchange inflows.
President Kenyatta said Kenyans abroad sacrificed immensely to remit money back home despite the high cost of living in host countries, a move that is appreciated by their families and a grateful nation.
The President also urged the Kenyans abroad to invest their cash in the many opportunities available, including in infrastructure development as well as renewable energy for which Germany is famous.
The Diaspora group was also addressed by First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, who thanked them for the thunderous reception. She pledged to continue work to better the health sector, especially ensuring that mothers do not die while giving life.
Earlier on Thursday, President also met with members of the Eastern Africa/ Sub-Sahara Africa Region Group of the German parliament, where he discussed a wide range of issues.