, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 20 – President Mwai Kibaki has appealed to politicians and their supporters to engage in peaceful campaigns ahead of the 2013 general elections.
He says that the government has put in place the necessary institutional and legal structures to ensure that the election will be free, fair and peaceful.
The president said: “As we approach this historic event, I appeal to all political leaders and their supporters to engage in peaceful campaigns. Let us all remember that Kenya’s collective destiny is far more important than the interest of any individual person or group.
President Kibaki who spoke during the 2012 Mashujaa Day celebrations implored Kenyans to turn out in large numbers and register as voters when the listing commences next month.
He said that the government was fast-tracking the issuance of identity cards to those who have attained 18 years to enable them participate in the elections.
“Taking part in an election is the sure way of influencing the political and economic destiny of your county and nation,” he advised the youth.
The process of voter registration is however crowded in uncertainty with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) remaining tight lipped over the acquisition of the registration kits.
The commission is however expected to clear the anxiety over the acquisition of the Biometric Voter Registration kits after its chairman Isaack Hassan arrived from Botswana on Friday night.
Hassan was present at the Mashujaa Day fete at the Nyayo Stadium but did not speak to the media.
The registration of voters is scheduled to begin on November 1 to November 30, but is likely to be extended into December following the delayed acquisition of the voter registration kits.
The IEBC is targeting to register 18 million voters when the process starts.
On Friday, Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi challenged the IEBC to assure Kenyans that it is in control of the election process. Mudavadi said that the commission would be a letdown if it fails to deliver the next general election on time.
Mudavadi said: “We expect to have the election as planned and it will be very unfortunate if anything were to come in play to alter that date. It is vital that IEBC comes out with categorical statements that they are on top of things because any negative indication will send despair among the Kenyan people.”
During the Mashujaa Day celebrations, the president observed that the Economic Recovery Strategy for Wealth and Employment Creation launched in 2003 and the Kenya Vision 2030 launched in 2008 had laid a firm foundation for the development into a middle income country.
He thanked Kenyan taxpayers for paying their taxes, saying this has enabled the government fund its transformative development agenda in areas such as infrastructure, healthcare and education.
He disclosed that the economy was projected to maintain growth in the current year despite the harsh economic environment. On his part, Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka said the remains of former freedom fighter Dedan Kimathi will be exhumed at the Kamiti prison and given a hero’s burial.
The vice-president also appealed to Kenyans to shun divisive politics and co-exist harmoniously ahead of the forthcoming general election under the new Constitution.