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Kenya faces a new dawn, says VP

WASHINGTON, Feb 4 – Kenya is on the verge of a new dawn; a new constitutional dispensation that is expected to right past and set the country on the path of progress, Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka has said.

Mr Musyoka asked leaders and Kenyans in general not to poke holes in the recommendations coming out of Naivasha by the Parliamentary Select Committee, so as not to delay the enactment of a new Constitution.

"The recommendations are not a finality but a major step forward.  The rough edges can still be fined tuned by the Committee of Experts and debate in Parliament.  The PSC rose above partisan politics and we applaud them" the VP who is in the United States said.

Mr Musyoka expressed confidence that Kenya will this time round go through a non-contested referendum and attain a new constitution by August this year.

He added that it was necessary for the world to meet East Africa and the Horn of Africa region halfway in dealing with the security challenges they face by providing humanitarian support.

Speaking in Washington in the company of House Speaker Kenneth Marende to a mixed audience of American think-tanks, human rights organisations representatives and politicians from across the political divide, the VP said world peace was not guaranteed until the situation in Somalia is settled.

"President Obama\’s administration needs to partner with the region and such organisations as the UN, the Red Crescent and the Red Cross to offer humanitarian relief to hundreds of thousands of refugees crossing over to Kenya and the millions of people in need of assistance in Somalia," Mr Musyoka said.

He told the influential personalities gathered under the auspices of the New America Foundation that Kenya was concerned since it shared a porous 1,800 kilometre border with Somalia.

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"We must all wake up to the reality that the security challenges facing East Africa and the Horn of Africa are serious and have the capacity to compromise world peace.  To the extent that we are not able not relate to this situation, we are not working in the best interest of peace and security everywhere," the VP added.

National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende spoke on the evolution of Parliamentary democracy in Kenya.

Noting that this was the 10th Parliament, Mr Marende said Kenya has had a series of successful elections since independence in 1963 but this good record was blotted during the 2007 General Elections when the Presidential results were disputed leading to violence.

"All that is now behind us as we are going to have a new constitution by August and lay a new foundation for democracy in Kenya," Mr Marende told the audience.

Among those present at the meeting moderated by Steve Clemons of the New America Foundation were representative of the US department of Defence, the National Democratic Institute, World Bank, RAND corporation and Human Rights watch as well journalists in Washington.

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