, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 2 – President Mwai Kibaki says he is confident that the Constitution review process is now in its final leg, following its successful passage in Parliament on Thursday night.
Speaking when he flagged off the 2010 KCB Safari Rally at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre, President Kibaki said Kenya had a historical opportunity to have a new constitutional dispensation.
President Kibaki re-affirmed of his personal commitment to the attainment of a new constitutional dispensation in the country which he noted would form the firm foundation of a prosperous nation.
“As you begin your race in this year’s Safari Rally, we have also begun as a nation, the final lap of a great race to have a new constitution. Just yesterday Members of Parliament voted for the proposed constitution. Kenyans will have a chance to vote on the document at a referendum later this year. I am confident that we are about to finish this race. Kenyans can expect to have a new constitution soon,” The President told the gathering of enthusiastic Rally fans.
During the occasion President Kibaki recalled with fondness that the Safari Rally which has been hosted in the country for the past 60 years had become part of Kenya’s sports heritage.
The President said the event must be guarded jealously and supported to grow to higher levels and to particularly ensure it retains its rightful place as one the world’s toughest rallies.
President Kibaki said: “This is an event that has earned the reputation of being one of the world’s toughest rallies. This is on account of the enormous challenges the rally poses to the drivers, their navigators, crew and vehicles.”
The Head of State noted that the event continued to positively brand the country and enabled Kenya to attract its fair share of sports tourists. He directed the Ministry of Tourism, Youth Affairs and Brand Kenya to work closely to invent mechanisms of attracting more such tourists.
The President also sent a message of goodwill to all Christian faithful in the country during the Easter.
President Kibaki urged Kenyans to reach to the underprivileged members of the society and to particularly remain true to the teachings of Christianity and to reflect on the tribulations and victorious resurrection of Jesus Christ
During the event the Head of State welcomed to the country, participants drawn from all parts of the world and also thanked sponsors and organizers of the lively event.
The President observed: “Over the years the Safari Rally has had its ups and downs. However, it has continued to embrace new ideas and overcome the various challenges. I thank the title sponsors, Kenya Commercial Bank, for consistently sponsoring the event and being part of its rich history.”
Participants from neighbouring countries among them Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi are also take part in the competitions.
Youth and Sports Minister Helen Sambili said the Ministry will continue to work with the Kenya Motor Sports Federation (KMSF) to get the Safari Rally back on to the international stage.
Prof Sambili observed that the Safari rally supports the government policy of expanding sports links and fostering cooperation within the East African community partner states.
The KCB group Chairman Peter Muthoka said the bank has invested Sh80 million in sports sponsorship this year.
Mr Muthoka noted that the Safari Rally is the first in a series of three events that together form the KCB East African Rally Challenge whose objective is to help integrate the people of the region.
The gathering was also addressed by the KMSF chairman Jim Kahumbura who cautioned rally spectators and other fans to observe the laid down safety precautionary measures.