NAIROBI, Kenya, June 1 – President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga have assured Kenyans that the Grand Coalition Government will hold despite many challenges facing the country.
In his address to the nation during the occasion to mark the 46th Madaraka day, President Kibaki said that wrangles within political coalitions were normal.
"Our grand coalition is not different, therefore occasional disagreements should not be construed to mean that the government is in a crisis," he emphasized.
The President said leaders must always have the will, focus and discipline to make the hard decisions needed to move the country forward.
"I wish to assure Kenyans and our friends that the Prime Minister and I are determined to ensure that the Grand Coalition functions harmoniously. We are fully committed to faster and sustainable development, peace, unity and stability. These are the major pillars upon which the Kenyan people seek to build their nation," he said.
With regard to reforms, President Kibaki said that significant strides have been achieved which have paved way for wide ranging political and social economic transformations.
He noted that all Kenyans agree that the most important reform that the country must undertake is constitutional review but added that a Committee of Experts had been established to steer the process.
Said the President; "I am therefore, appealing to the political parties and all Kenyans to desist from taking rigid and partisan positions so that we can get a new Constitution within the next few months."
With regard to the Judiciary, the President said an efficient judicial system is a pillar in the enhancement of security and human dignity in the society.
He assured that all institutions involved in the dispensation of justice would get substantial budgetary allocations to empower them to execute their mandate.
President Kibaki took issue with hecklers who disrupt speeches saying their disrespectful behaviour would not distract leaders from forging ahead with the identified political and economic reforms lined up to benefit all Kenyans.
The Head of State noted that disruption of speeches as a means of drawing attention and empty rhetoric by some leaders were not of benefit to anybody.
He urged leaders to work together in uniting Kenyans who he said were not interested in divisiveness but peace and harmonious coexistence.
The Head of State also allayed fears over the territorial integrity of the country’s borders because the armed forces were alert and under instruction to deal firmly with all manner of threats.
He, however, stressed that Kenya seeks peaceful co-existence with her neighbours but shall resist any threat to the country’s peace and stability.
The President said, "It is important at an occasion like this to point out that Kenya has the will and the capacity to protect her territorial integrity and the welfare of her people. But we must not be a nation of war mongers but a land of people who cherish peace as an end in itself."
Prime Minister Raila Odinga in his speech assured Kenyans that the Grand Coalition Government was united in instituting the necessary institutional reforms.
Mr Odinga said reforms in the police force, the judiciary and Land laws would eradicate corruption and improve service delivery to Kenyans.
"We want to bring change to our Police force so that they are able to serve Kenyans better and also fight corruption," he explained.
"We will also change the judiciary so that it becomes a place where people are given the justice they deserve."
He also emphasised on the need for a new constitution in the country.
"We want Kenya to have a new constitution by next year. We also want that there be peace among our people. That is why we are having the Truth Justice and reconciliation commission," he stated.
June 1 commemorates the day that Kenya attained internal self rule in 1963, preceding full independence from the United Kingdom on December 12, 1963.