, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 10 – Corporate sponsors on Saturday pledged over Sh2.5 billion towards legacy projects in commemoration of Kenya’s 50 year independence celebrations.
The sponsors, who include Safaricom, Zuku, Equity Bank and the National Social Security Fund, made the pledge during the [email protected] Private Sector Partnership presidential dinner at the Nairobi National Park.
The Aga Khan Development Foundation committed Sh2.4 billion towards rehabilitation of the 90-year-old City Park in Parklands that has been run down over the years, with human and housing encroachment, pollution, poaching and illegal logging spoiling its appeal.
Once completed through a six-year plan involving environmental improvement, landscaping and creation of new facilities the 62-hectare park will have an amphitheatre, swimming pool, football pitch, food courts and jogging tracks among other social and income-generating facilities.
President Uhuru Kenyatta urged Kenyans to unite in reflection and commemoration, celebration and festivity as the country marks its golden jubilee of independence.
“We wish Kenyans to remember how love, unity, loyalty and selflessness overcame the sabotage, saved Kenya and brought her to the cusp of great promise,” he added.
The President said [email protected] would be accommodating the country’s diversity and the perspectives of expatriates in the country in order to bring on board a variety of ideas.
The President gave assurances that the government will be leading the commemoration of the golden jubilee of independence in the spirit of the current Constitution promulgated in August 2010 which returned the country to its only and true owners, Kenyans.
“There was a time when Kenya was, for all intents and purposes, the property of government, and government was distinct from the citizens. A regrettable civic schism occurred, which swallowed all efforts to build a united, prosperous nation,” he said.
“This is the reason why [email protected] must involve every Kenyan wherever they are. I request you to bring on board many ideas from as many Kenyans as possible. In fact, I expect you to also take in the perspectives of expatriates living with us, because our national family is diverse,” he added.
The President urged [email protected] organisers and partners to engage and enable county governments to come up with programmes and events that showcase the nation at their levels, adding that unity is meaningful only when the opportunity to contribute is fully respected.
President Kenyatta also said his government appreciates the enthusiasm of the corporate world.
Speaking during the occasion, Deputy President William Ruto said the [email protected] celebrations provided a moment for Kenyans to assess the present and plan for the future.
The Deputy President urged Kenyans to come together and participate in the [email protected] legacy projects rolled out in various parts of the county.
“I now want on behalf of the president and all those who serve in government to pledge to our motherland that we will do the best we can, we will go beyond our call of duty to take this country forward,” he said.
Ruto said the Jubilee Government will embark on rolling out of their flagship projects which include the one million acre irrigation project which will aid in addressing the issue of food insecurity.
He said the government will also launch the standard gauge railway next month as a way to ease congestion and bring efficiency in moving of goods from the Mombasa port into the country and even to the region.
He further said an additional 5,000 megawatts of power is expected to be generated by 2017 hence the need for an expanded grid.