, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 12- President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga have assured the country that the coalition government is committed in gaining consensus over contentious issues in the Harmonised Draft Constitution.
Speaking during the 46th Jamhuri Day celebrations the President said once they agreed on a course of action as a Government, all efforts would be put to ensure its realisation.
He said the priority of the new law was to provide foundations for highly accountable and effective government, a highly productive and competitive economy and a united cohesive nation.
“We have waited for a new constitution for nearly twenty years, let us ensure that this time we conclude the matter, and give this generation and all future generations of Kenyans a new constitutional dispensation. I and the Right Honourable Prime Minister Raila Odinga are committed to finding consensus and common positions on matters of national importance,” he said.
Prime Minister Raila Odinga who had accompanied the President warned politicians against making recommendations on the new constitution with particular individuals in mind. He said the law should be a document for the good of all in the country for present and future generations but not personalities.
“The constitutions belongs to future generations of Kenya so we need to stop being individualistic. We cannot make a Constitution that you personally want or one that Raila or President Kibaki wants. We should make a Constitution that will help Kenyans develop,” he said.
President Kibaki also said that the government would now demand resignation of top officials facing corruption charges in its efforts to create a corruption free society.
In his address to the nation on Jamhuri Day President Kibaki directed Permanent Secretaries and accounting officers to sanction all corrupt officers in their ministries and departments.
He also ordered the automation of government financial systems to ensure electronic procurement and payment of goods and services by the Government and vendors to be done by end of next year.
“I direct the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Information and Communications, the Ministry of Lands, the State Law Office and the e-Government directorate to ensure that these systems are in place and fully operational in the next eighteen months,” he stated.
His directives comes just a day after UK’s Department for International Development who have been funding education in the country, announced freezing of funding over issues of graft.
The Judiciary was also asked to ensure the establishment of an electronic court registry to curb the vice.
“I also urge the Judiciary to ensure the establishment of an electronic court registry and electronic recording of court proceedings within the same time,” he said.
The President also voiced his concern over the growing number of road accidents and called for a permanent solution to make roads safe for all users. He directed the police and Transport Ministry to ensure careless drivers and unroadworthy vehicles were eradicated from all roads.
“We are also losing millions of man-hours from traffic jams that are largely caused by poor planning and driving habits,” he said.
He also added that the solution should not just be pegged on the Christmas period.
“This should not be a short term operation in the run-up to Christmas, but a permanent campaign that will make our roads safe for all users. In the meantime, I urge everyone to drive carefully and thoughtfully to avoid unnecessary loss of lives,” he said.