, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 20- President Mwai Kibaki has reassured of a smooth transition to the leadership that the Kenyan people will elect into office in the forthcoming general elections.
Speaking on Wednesday night during a farewell dinner hosted in his honour by Parliament at Intercontinental Hotel in Nairobi, President Kibaki said he looked forward to a smooth election.
“I am however very much around and looking forward to a peaceful, just and fair election,” President Kibaki said.
The President, at the same time, urged legislators to be faithful implementers of the new Constitution and Vision 2030, saying the two
documents will lead the country to issue based politics, social equity and economic prosperity.
He stressed that the two documents outline what the country needs in order to realize much progress in the various fields especially with the devolved government.
The President challenged the leaders not to pay lip service to the documents.
President Kibaki said: “We must never pay lip service to these documents. From being proud custodians we must also be faithful implementers of what they outline, especially as we prepare for a devolved system of government.”
Guided by the vision of the founding fathers and Vision 2030, President Kibaki said the country is destined for greater prosperity.
The Head of State added that the expansion of quality education is enhancing the fight against ignorance; poverty levels are gradually dropping while the people are enjoying better health standards as evidenced by increased life expectancy that stands at 64 years.
He noted that the country has also made much progress in human resource development which he said was of first class and globally competitive.
“I am very proud of our country’s human resource base. It is first class and today we can confidently say that we are producing globally competitive citizens, who can work anywhere in the world. We must not relent in our efforts to give our children a good education. Let us also cherish the virtues of hard work,” President Kibaki added.
The Head of State further said that technology must be put to good use so as to ensure the country moves at a faster speed than that the developed nations had to go through, adding that with technology the country does not need to go through the learning curves of development.
“We have proved it with ICT innovations but let us invest more in technology,” President Kibaki said.
Noting that Kenyans have proved to be outward looking people who quickly see opportunities outside the borders, President Kibaki underscored the need to safeguard the country’s position as the regional transport and financial hub.
He, therefore, called on all Kenyans to be faithful citizens of East Africa and treat their fellow East Africans as brothers and sisters.
The President further expressed confidence that the newfound mineral and oil discoveries will project the economy to the next level and urged Kenyans to ensure the minerals work for the good of the present and future generations.
In this connection, President Kibaki cautioned the country to guard against the curse of mineral and oil resources that have been known to destabilize nations by learning from the best global experiences in that sector.
President Kibaki further observed that for the last 50 years the country has progressed well mainly by putting the priorities right thus ensuring a proper mix of private and public sector participation in the economy.
“We sought to fight poverty, disease and ignorance. As one of those who helped shape the destiny of our nation, I will let others pass judgment on our record. I must however say that I am happy with what we have done for our nation. I believe that we have collectively come from far,” the President said.
He added: “When I look back at the journey we have travelled in the last fifty years, I thank God for guiding Kenya through many challenges and the many opportunities that he has opened up for our beloved country.
Paying tribute to the country’s past leaders, the President said he was privileged to work with great Kenyan leaders such as Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, Tom Mboya, Daniel arap Moi, Masinde Muliro, Ronald Ngala, among others.
He thanked the people of the then Donholm Constituency, Othaya and all Kenyans in general for their confidence in his leadership.
In his remark Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka noted that the President had exhibited extra ordinary quality of being tolerance and fully and committed to ensuring that peace prevail in the region.
Other speakers included former Vice President Moody Awori, Speaker to the National Assembly Kenneth Marende, George Muhoho and David Mwiraria among others