NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 12 – President Mwai Kibaki on Wednesday led the nation in commemorating the 49th Jamhuri Day celebrations where he cited the promulgation of the Constitution as one of the most memorable moments of his tenure.
Speaking during the occasion at the Nyayo Stadium, President Kibaki described this as a major milestone in the country’s history as the Constitution was approved by Kenyans after more than twenty years.
“After more than twenty years, we were able to put in place a new constitution, developed and approved by Kenyans. The government has faithfully implemented provisions of the new Constitution as laid out in the Sixth Schedule,” he said.
He also pointed out that the country has made great strides in education, health, water and sanitation.
“We initiated the free and compulsory Primary education. This program has been a huge success with close to 10 million of our children enjoying access,” he stated.
He added that infrastructure development has also been a key focus for the government.
“We were driven by the conviction that improved road, railway and air transport networks as well as expansion of energy and telecommunications would facilitate the movement of goods and people across the country and our region,” he said.
“The capacity at our Port of Mombasa has been increased and work has begun on the construction of a new port in Lamu. The new port is part of the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport project.”
He called on Kenyans to continue with the good spirit by electing honest and hard working individuals who have the interests of the country at heart.
“I also call upon each one of us to promote peace and national unity in all our areas of influence. We should be free to disagree and hold divergent opinions but as we do so, we must remain united,” he said.
Prime Minister Raila Odinga in the meantime challenged Kenyans to maintain peace during the electioneering period by avoiding incidences that would lead to violence.
He said every Kenyans should commit themselves to holding free, fair and peaceful elections. The Premier further called on those eligible to cast their vote, to register as voters.
“For us to realise our aspirations and the promises that stand before us, we all need to register as voters to elect a credible, focused and committed leadership that will implement the Constitution in letter and spirit,” he said.
At the same time, the PM noted that the country needs leadership that is committed to the ideal of County governments as a way of ensuring equity and fairness in resource allocation.
Odinga pointed out that the Jamhuri celebrations mark a very special moment in the life of this nation because at 49, Kenya’s Jubilee begins.
He took the opportunity to thank his coalition partner President Mwai Kibaki for leadership, patience and compromise.