NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 9 – Soon after taking over power, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced that his government will be faced with a major challenge of exceeding the record set by his predecessor Mwai Kibaki.
Speaking at a late luncheon in State House, Nairobi, Kenyatta said Kibaki had set a high standard in leadership not only in Kenya, but on the entire African continent.
“We have shoes to fill, but we believe in God, we are confident of achieving great things for our people and the continent,” Kenyatta said, adding “My predecessor has set a very high a high bar not only in Kenya but in the continent as well.”
On his part, immediate former president Kibaki said he is confident the new president will live up to all his pledges after taking over office.
“I am confident the new leadership is up to the challenge,” Kibaki said, adding “as I retire, I will continue to render services to the people in various capacities.”
Kibaki thanked Kenyans for giving him an opportunity to serve them for the last 50 years.
“I must say that I am looking forward to my retirement after 50 years in public service. I thank God for this memorable and valuable time,” he said.
Kibaki has been president since 2002 when he took over from Daniel Toroitich arap Moi.
Moi had served as president since 1978 when he succeeded Kenyatta’s father Mzee Jomo Kenyatta who died in office.
As the fourth president of Kenya, Kenyatta has pledged to transform the economy by implementing all the pledges contained in Jubilee manifesto.
“We will commit ourselves to uniting Kenyans so that we can fulfil all the pledges that we made. I want to assure you that with God’s help, I have no doubt that we shall be successful in our endeavours,” Kenyatta stated.
He urged all his opponents to join hands with the new government and bring Kenyans together.
“I would like to thank all my worthy opponents in the recently completed presidential election. Every one of you helped define and make stronger our democracy. Because of you, Kenyans had real choices. Because of you, Kenyans felt free to exercise their sovereign will. Thank you all,” he stated.
He pointed out that in an open and free democracy, there is a vital role for a vibrant opposition that helps to hold the government to account.
“Kenya is such a democracy, and as president I will respect that role just as I will champion the right of every Kenyan to speak their mind free of fear of reprisal or condemnation,” he said.
Ruto on his part thanked Kenyans for overwhelmingly voting them into office and assured that their government is eager to start implementing all pledges made during the campaigns.
“All those who are suffering want to know when they will go to a kiosk to find that the price of maize flour has reduced from Sh100 to Sh60. Those who are unemployed want to know when the notice board saying ‘No vacancy’ will be removed and replaced with another one saying there are two or more vacancies,” he observed.