Kenya s minority get lifeline, says VP

September 12, 2010 12:00 am

, YATTA, Kenya, Sep 12 – The endorsement of a new Constitution will greatly benefit the minority communities who have been fighting for their rights since independence, Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka has said.
Mr Musyoka said the passage of the new law marked a historic event in the country’s history and promises a new hope to minority communities and other groups who for years have been fighting for a new Constitution that would protect their rights and address historical injustices.
Addressing a delegation of leaders from Mt Elgon district who made a courtesy call on him at his Yatta home on Saturday evening, Mr. Musyoka said the approval of the new constitution reflects the desire of the Kenyan people to put their country on a path towards improved governance, greater stability and increased prosperity.
The Vice President said the new law provides the indigenous people an opportunity to claim their rights based on various issues including cultural diversity and expression, human rights, land, environment and natural resources, and ensure the equitable sharing of the accruing benefits.

“With the new laws in place, rights of ancestral land are protected," said Mr Musyoka.
Noting that people in Mt Elgon among other areas in the country have lost lives and property due to clashes over land ownership, the Vice president said that the new constitution addresses historical land issues and protects indigenous communities land from exploitation and disposition by any group of persons.
Mr Musyoka who is also the Home Affairs Minister urged Kenyans to shun divisive politics that could create hatred and animosity among peace loving people. He said Kenyans should not allow some few individuals with selfish interests to divide them along tribal and party lines, saying such a move could bring hatred and divide Kenyans.

"Everybody should think of how we are going to build one nation and respect each other," the Vice President said.

"Servant leadership is crucial for the development of this country. We must say no to bad politics. It is time for movement for real change and good change for this nation. We should engage in politics which can take us to the next level of development,’’ added Mr Musyoka.
The Vice President said Kenyans should participate in peace-building to avoid a repeat of the 2008 post-election violence, adding  that peace-building was not a preserve of the government and that the public should fully participate in it and own the process.

He said there is need for all leaders to take a common stand and explore ways and means of ensuring that poverty which is the main problem facing the country is confronted.

The Vice President singled out sporting activities as one of the areas that have greatly improved living standards among the youth.

"Our athletes come home with 100 million dollars which is about Sh8 billion. It is through sports that the youth can greatly improve their living standards," said Mr Musyoka.

Mr Musyoka said it is only through the fight against corruption that the high poverty levels could be reduced, saying the new constitution will address such issues.

"You should know that in leadership, leaders differ in opinion but they are together in matters pertaining to development. We now do not have room to engage in politics of hatred," said Mr Musyoka.

Mwala MP, Rev. Daniel Muoki, said the Kamba community is firmly behind the Vice President and dismissed a group of leaders claiming that the community is divided going by the recent referendum results.

"The Kamba community is now united than ever. Nobody should cheat you or have doubts that the Kamba is divided," said Rev. Muoki.

The Mt Elgon leaders led by former MP Wilberforce Kisiero commended the role played by Mr. Musyoka in restoring law and order during the 2008 post election violence.
Mr Kisiero who read a memorandum on their behalf said the community should be represented when the Government forms the land commission.


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