VALEDICTORY SPEECH BY H.E. HON. MWAI KIBAKI, C.G.H., IMMEDIATE FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA DURING THE INAUGURATION OF H.E. UHURU KENYATTA AS PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE DEFENCE FORCES OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA ON TUESDAY, 9TH APRIL 2013, AT KASARANI SPORTS COMPLEX, NAIROBI
YOUR EXCELLENCY PRESIDENT UHURU KENYATTA, YOUR EXCELLENCY DEPUTY PRESIDENT WILLIAM RUTO, YOUR EXCELLENCIES INVITED HEADS OF STATE AND HEADS OF DELEGATIONS, DISTINGUISHED GUESTS, FELLOW KENYANS,
I am extremely happy to address you on this historic occasion that marks the passing of the torch of leadership to a new generation of leaders that the people of Kenya convincingly voted into office. I thank all Heads of State and international friends who have come to witness this auspicious event.
I wholeheartedly congratulate His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta on his assumption of office as President of the Republic of Kenya and Commander-in-Chief of our Defence Forces. In equal measure, I congratulate our new Deputy President, His Excellency William Ruto.
I salute the millions of Kenyans who saw it wise to vote peacefully and send a clear message that our democracy has come of age. Today, we celebrate our democratic gains. The smooth transition we are experiencing today is the product of the many institutional reforms that we have entrenched in our country.
On this occasion, I also bid farewell to you all after a long and rewarding 50 years of public service. I thank the Almighty God for his guidance and protection throughout this period. I say a big ASANTE to you the Kenyan people for your support and encouragement.
Together, we have travelled along the path of transforming our nation.
Today, our children have access to education, millions more homes have clean water, our villages and towns are powered by electricity, the goods and services that we produce are finding their way to markets because of better roads.
Today, we pride ourselves in a modern constitution that has entrenched devolution. Because of interventions like the Constituency Development Fund, Kenyans at the grassroots are making decisions about their development priorities.
I sincerely thank the various leaders I have had the priviledge of working with over the years especially our founding father Mzee Jomo Kenyatta for the opportunity he provided me to manage the finances of our nation and retired President Daniel arap Moi, whom I served as Vice-President for 10 years.
I hail the National Rainbow Coalition and the Government of National Unity that formed the foundation of my presidency. I salute the Grand Coalition Government that we successfully steered with Prime Minister Hon. Raila Odinga and Vice-President Hon. Kalonzo Musyoka.
I thank the many other leaders in the political, religious, private and public sectors whom I have worked with to reform our country. Above all, I salute and thank the Kenyan people for their resilience.
It is you the Kenyan farmers and livestock keepers across the country; the fishermen on our lakes, rivers and ponds; the medical professionals and nurses in our hospitals; teachers in our classrooms; workers in our factories; soldiers and policemen on security operations, who have transformed our country. Because of your hard work and determination, we are on the path to achieving not just the political freedom that our founding fathers envisaged but economic independence that has been made possible because of the taxes you pay.
Indeed, I thank all taxpayers who have ensured that the government has adequate funds to fund the transformational agenda. I also thank all our development partners who have been true friends. Their support has been critical in our development agenda.
I also wish to most sincerely thank my wife Mama Lucy Kibaki and my entire family for their unwavering support over the years.
As I conclude my remarks, I wish to state that as I exit the stage of leadership, I have no doubt in my mind that the country is in good hands.
In the leadership of President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto, Kenya has a dynamic duo.
I believe that the innovation, energy, determination and hard work that they exhibited during the presidential election campaign will be evident in their running of Government affairs. Kenyans and the international community should give them the space and support to enable them exercise their Presidential mandate.
I am also confident that other leaders we have elected at the national and county levels have what it takes to move the country forward. Devolution is here to stay but it must never be used to balkanize our nation. We all belong to one united state Kenya, under one national government and 47 county governments. You must all work for the greater good of our nation.
As we move forward, let us fully embrace regional integration. We have a strong and dynamic youthful population who see themselves as global citizens. Let us support them unleash their full potential.
Finally, I wish His Excellency Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta, His Excellency Hon.
William Ruto and the entire leadership at the national and county levels, all the very best as they serve the people of the Republic of Kenya.
THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU