, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 31 – President Mwai Kibaki has urged Kenyans to remain united and safeguard the country’s peace, stability and progress.
Noting that 2012 will see a transition in leadership and usher in a shift from centralized to a devolved government, President Kibaki emphasized the need for wananchi to realize that Kenya is bigger than any single individual.
“As we prepare for these transition milestones, let us all be reminded that Kenya is One Nation. We must therefore take actions which guarantee
that we remain one united nation,” President Kibaki said.
Conveying his best wishes for the New Year to Kenyans in a radio and television address from State House Nairobi today, President Kibaki said elections will come and go but the country will remain.
The Head of State, therefore, said after finishing his two terms in office, he will be happy to oversee a smooth transition to the new leadership that Kenyans will vote into office.
The President thanked Kenyans for the support they have extended to him during his time in office and assured that all the necessary measures will be put in place to ensure a free and fair general election.
“In this regard the Government will facilitate the issuance of national identity cards to youth of age to enable them register as voters as the process kicks off in the coming weeks,” the President said.
With the transition from a centralized to a devolved government in 2012, President Kibaki said the country will have embarked on the journey of empowering 47 county governments that will be charged with managing the affairs of the people at the grassroots level.
Said President Kibaki: “I see this as a great opportunity to devolve responsibility to the people. Let us embrace this new concept of governance with a renewed sense of hope and confidence.”
He affirmed that measures will be put in place to ensure that all counties are adequately prepared to embrace the new opportunities and overcome the likely challenges.
The President, at the same time, expressed optimism that after many months of rising cost of living, inflationary pressures will reduce in the months ahead as a result of the anticipated reductions in energy prices and increased food production.
President Kibaki pointed out that despite the challenges faced in the past year, the country has continued to make progress in various fields of national endeavor.
“We are now firmly on the path of national transformation, with the full implementation of our constitution,” the President said.
The President added that many of the projects envisaged under VISION 2030 are being implemented including infrastructure development across the country which has helped Kenyans in the movement of goods and services in a faster and cost-effective manner.
President Kibaki said the Government is also implementing social programs in the fields of education and health that are empowering wananchi.
“Today, we have more of our youth enjoying free education programs, giving them a better chance at succeeding in the future,” President Kibaki said.
The President added that the resources invested in the health sector have ensured that Kenyans are healthier and more productive.
On security, President Kibaki urged wananchi to remember and pray for the men and women in uniform, who are currently on the mission within borders and inside Somalia, safeguarding the nation.
He saluted the Kenyan forces for their bravery and courage and assured them of full support, reiterating that Kenya intends to complete the work it has begun.
Said President Kibaki: “We owe it to ourselves and the millions of Somali people who are yearning for peace and prosperity after 20 years of civil war. Peace in Somalia is a critical pillar to regional prosperity.”
On regional integration, the President called on Kenyans to continue taking advantage of the opportunities in the wider East African Community, saying Kenya is privileged to be chairing the Community for the next one year.
He emphasized that everybody should play a role in making the East African Community the most successful and integrated economic bloc in Africa.