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Kenya says reform agenda on course

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 20 – President Mwai Kibaki on Tuesday said that the reform agenda was on course.  

In his national address during the 46th Kenyatta Day celebrations at the Nyayo National Stadium, President Kibaki noted that the beginning of a new Kenya would be fully realised with the enactment of a new constitution which he expressed confidence would be achieved by next year.

“As a nation, we find ourselves at a unique moment in history. Indeed, the Grand Coalition Government has, in the last one year, embarked on implementing some of the most far reaching reforms in our country’s history,” he said.

Noting that Grand Coalition Government has in the past one year embarked on implementing some of the most far reaching reforms in the country’s history, the Head of State urged Kenyans not to lose focus on various achievements that have been made.

He said the Government had instituted and created the necessary legal framework to spearhead the task of ratifying a new constitution as well establishing strong public institutions.

The President directed the committee of experts and others conferred with the responsibility of drafting the new constitution to uphold the desires and aspirations of Kenyans to achieve broad national consensus.

 “That is why today we have the Committee of Experts to spearhead the effort to give our country a new Constitution,” he said.

“Similarly, we now have in place the Interim Independent Constitutional Dispute Resolution Court that has exclusive and original jurisdiction over disputes related to the constitutional review process. I am confident that we are on the path to having a new Constitution next year,” he added. 

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The Head of State further noted that since the establishment of the Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC), it had so far conducted two parliamentary by-elections and was also in the process of preparing a new voters roll waiting to conduct the referendum on the new constitution.

The President expressed confidence that the enactment of a new constitution would provide for the establishment of a new electoral body that would enjoy public confidence for generations to come.

President Kibaki noted that for fair and equal representation in parliament, the Interim Independent Boundaries Commission had been established and mandated to curve electoral and administrative boundaries in the country.

He said by the end of its work the Boundaries Commission should provide the electoral body with approximately equal size constituencies demographically.

“The need to apply the principle of one person one vote led to the establishment of the Interim Independent Boundaries Commission in accordance with the Kriegler Report,” he said. 

He urged Kenyans to be united and always consciously embrace a strong and united national identity as Kenyans that supersedes other forms of identities.

"The new Kenya we envisage can only be born of a people who consciously made decision to create a strong, united national identity, where they view themselves first and foremost as Kenyan, while other identities are increasingly relegated to secondary importance,” he remarked.

On the plight of the internally displace persons, the President urged all affected persons to go back to their farms to benefit from Government support like others who have restarted their lives again.


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