I am pleased to join you for this year’s Mashujaa Day. On this important occasion, we celebrate the achievements of our freedom fighters. In addition, Mashujaa Day affords us the opportunity to celebrate post-independence and modern-day heroes and heroines who have brought pride and joy to our beloved country.
We honour our freedom fighters led by the founding father of our nation, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta. Because of their sacrifices and commitment, Kenya attained independence. We also pay tribute to the leaders of Kenya’s Second Liberation. The multi-party democracy we enjoy today is as a result of their struggles.
Let us embrace the values and dreams for a better Kenya that these patriots had for our beloved country. In their honour we should redouble our efforts in making Kenya, a working and caring nation and a haven of peace, unity and prosperity.
In the last few months, Kenya has lost a number of eminent leaders and we celebrate their great achievements. Martin Shikuku was a seasoned politician who was at the forefront of fighting for the rights of Kenyans from the days of the Lancaster Conference right through the struggle for multi-party democracy. Njenga Karume was a businessman and political leader who modelled the example of starting from scratch and working hard in order to achieve success. John Michuki, Professor George Saitoti, Orwa Ojode, Geoffrey Kareithi and David Nalo were committed public servants who carried out their duties without fear or favour. Let us emulate the examples set by these great leaders.
Turning to present-day Mashujaa, on behalf of all Kenyans, I would like to commend members of the Kenya Defence Forces for their professionalism, bravery and sacrifice as they executed Kenya’s hunt for Al-Shabaab militants in Somalia. These patriots have brought great pride to our country and region.
In the world of sports, Kenyans are proud of our athletes who continue to bring us glory in various competitions around the world. During the recently concluded Olympics and Paralympics Games held in London, our athletes won a total of four gold, six silver and seven bronze medals. We commend them for their hard work and commitment. Moreover, I congratulate the Captain of our Olympics Team, David Rudisha as well as Samuel Mushai and Abraham Tarbei for winning gold medals and breaking world records.
Our athletes have been some of our most effective ambassadors. They have carried Kenya’s good name to all parts of the world. When we hear our National Anthem played in different parts of the world, this gives us great pride as Kenyans.
There are other heroes and heroines in the public sector, private sector, the performing arts, academia, and technology who have made significant contributions to national development. We commend and celebrate them.
I also salute all Kenyans, who, in their own small ways, have made efforts to transform their local communities, our country and the world through acts of innovation and service.