NAIROBI, August 2 – President Mwai Kibaki has reiterated his commitment to the success of the grand coalition Government formed early this year and declared it was working for all Kenyans.
President Kibaki said the unity of purpose was an historical moment for Kenyans to reflect on the challenges that faced the nation and embrace the spirit of brotherhood to co-exist peacefully.
The Head of State who made the remarks at State House Nairobi on Saturday while officiating the Kenya Scouts Association Patron’s Day, said the movement’s peace and co-existence theme was in tandem with the challenging moments the country underwent early this year.
President Kibaki said the scout friendship spirit informed the decision of political leaders to form the coalition Government and share the responsibility of providing leadership to the country as brothers and sisters.
The Head of State reminded Kenyans that the country was indivisible and urged communities to live peacefully with one another regardless of their ethnic, religious and political affiliations.
“The loss of lives and destruction of property in the country was a painful lesson that underscores the need for all of us to embrace peace and harmony”, the President said.
President Kibaki recommended the creation of Scouts units in all learning institutions handling young Kenyans as a step towards moulding disciplined and responsible future leaders.
The Head of State said, “I wish, therefore, to take this opportunity to emphasize the need for us to popularize the Scouting Movement among the youth. As we all appreciate, scouting, as an educational movement, helps the youth to grow into disciplined and responsible persons through good character formation.”
President Kibaki, who appealed to all parents to allow children to become scouts, observed that the movement tutors the youth to become dependable leaders through peer education adding that many current national leaders were at a certain stage scout members.
The President also appealed to corporate organizations and other stakeholders to unleash their material and financial support to enable the movement grow and play its rightful role in society.
With regard to education, the Head of State termed it as a critical tool for the development of any country adding that the developed world attained its present status through channeling of substantial resources for education and research.
President Kibaki reiterated the commitment of his government to ensure the every young Kenyan enjoys an opportunity to acquire skills that would enable them secure gainful employment and decent livelihood.
“As will be appreciated, the modern world is highly competitive and only highly skilled people will succeed. It is, therefore, immensely important for our youth to take acquisition of skills and knowledge seriously, if they expect to succeed in life,” said the Head of State.
He also advised the youth to avoid the dangers of HIV/AIDS which he termed as one of the most urgent challenge afflicting the youth and commended the movement for its proactive approach to the scourge.
President Kibaki said, “I am happy to note that Scouts are being empowered to make healthy choices through Scouting for Solutions Project which promotes abstinence, among other measures. I urge the youth to embrace abstinence, to say no to drugs and to focus on useful activities like sports and other recreational events.”
He also appreciated the leading role the movement has taken in environmental conservation whereby 10 million trees have been planted in partnership with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports as a gift of peace to the people of Kenya.
“I strongly support this patriotic initiative and urge other Kenyans to emulate your efforts. Let us all embrace the practice of planting trees as well as good waste management in order to conserve out environment,” urged President Kibaki.
The President congratulated the Kenya Scouts Association for achieving the honour to host the 13th World Scout Movement Conference in 2010 and asked all relevant Government ministries as well as stakeholders to assemble the necessary support to make the event a success.
Speakers during the occasion included Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka who is the Chief Commissioner of Kenya Scouts Association, Former National Assembly Speaker Francis ole Kaparo who is the Chief Scout and the Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Prof. Helen Sambili.
The leaders called on students to learn from the Scout movement’s clarion call for peace and desist from destructive riots in schools.
Musyoka was among the 301 scouts who received awards and honours.
Retired President Daniel arap Moi was awarded in absentia.