PRETORIA, May 9 – President Mwai Kibaki has said the Grand Coalition Government is determined to achieve political agreement on the new constitution.
Addressing Kenyans living in South Africa, President Kibaki said the Grand Coalition Government, which involves leaders of different political parties, is committed to giving Kenyans a holistic constitution that will ensure the country gets practical solutions to both current and future challenges.
Responding to various issues raised by Kenyans living in South Africa, President Kibaki said his government is committed to ensuring the well being of Kenyans living and working in other countries.
“Please tell us what we as a Government ought to do in order to achieve some of the goals you want us to fulfil. Do not shy off, forward your questions and also come up with solutions to some of the challenges facing us as a country,” President Kibaki said.
In this connection the Head of State said the Government is receptive to different shades of ideas from its citizens in the diaspora.
President Kibaki said questions raised by citizens will help in creating understanding as to what kind of solutions are needed in Kenya.
Said the President, “Kenyans need to be genuine to each other and embrace reforms in the spirit of brotherhood.
“It is good for Kenyans to be free to air their views and ideas. I urge all of you to continue seeking solutions to the various challenges facing the country.”
On the issue of dual citizenship, President Kibaki said the Government is giving the issue utmost priority noting that it will be addressed in the process of constitutional reforms.
He assured all Kenyans that as the country embarks on the process of constitutional reforms, the Government is determined to incorporate the views of Kenyans in diaspora.
“Let us all continue in dialogue instead of endless debates. Talking to each other with an open mind will enable us reach consensus on issues of national importance,” the President said.
On relations between Kenya and South Africa, the Head of State said he is pleased to see that the two countries have continued to strengthen their relationship and urged Kenyans to take advantage of the existing ties to explore ways and means of empowering themselves economically.
Speaking during the function, Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula said his ministry has created a desk headed by a director responsible for addressing issues affecting Kenyans in the diaspora.
He said, “Kenyans in the diaspora are key players in the country’s economic growth as you remitted approximately $1b last year.
In response to various issues raised by Kenyans in South Africa, the Minister said the Grand Coalition Government will not backtrack on reforms.
He noted that a wide range of reforms are being implemented among them the establishment of the Independent Interim Electoral Commission, setting up the Committee of Experts on Constitutional Reforms, establishment of a taskforce to look into the police reforms and setting up of the Commission on the National Cohesion.
“Kenya is firmly on the reform path and the political leadership is committed to ensuring reforms are implemented” said Mr Wetangula.
Led by their Chairman Reverend Sammy Kariuki, Kenyans living in South Africa commended the government for its success, saying the country is now on track after the post election violence last year.
“Kenyans must avoid negative ethnicity and instead use their cultural diversity for the benefit of all,” he said.