NAIROBI Kenya, June 1- President Uhuru Kenyatta has said that his government is ready to hold dialogue with the opposition but he has strongly ruled out the possibility of a coalition government.
The President said the government has in the last five months been putting in place structures for a national dialogue conference to discuss the challenges facing the country.
He was speaking at Nyayo National Stadium where he led the nation in marking the 51st Madaraka Day.
“We thank Kenyans for giving us the chance to lead this government for five years, those thinking that there will be ‘nusu mkate’ (power sharing) they should forget,” he affirmed amid cheers from the citizens.
“The government is firm…but we welcome all who want to come and we discuss the country’s issues.”
The dialogue will be within the established channels, he said, and asked the opposition to stop acting recklessly at a time the country was facing new threats like terrorism.
He lauded the opposition for, “finally agreeing to our calls to come and talk about the development issues of our country.”
‘Nusu Mkate’ is a euphemism for the coalition government which former President Mwai Kibaki formed with opposition leader Raila Odinga with the latter appointed as Prime Minister in 2008.
The President said he was happy that the opposition was willing to offer ideas to the government in tackling the challenges facing the country.
Deputy President William Ruto reiterated the president’s statement, saying the government will serve all citizens regardless of their political inclination.
“We have one leader, we have one government…and we will work for those who voted for us and those who did not because this is the Government of Kenya,” he stated.
“We shall resist and defeat every form of profiling, discrimination or marginalisation. I want to ask all leaders – those in government and opposition – we have one country, one government and it’s our duty and calling to work for the people of Kenya.”
“Our adversaries may be numerous and crafty, but they are no match to our resolve and commitment to unity of purpose,” said the Deputy President.
Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero who was received warmly at the stadium said he will serve all without fear or favour.
“Over the years Nairobi has lived in peace, we will work with all leaders no matter where they come from without fear or favour,” he affirmed as he assured the president of his support in developing the County.
The president also said development will lack meaning without unity among all people in the country. He said the government was ready to ensure there was peace and security enhanced in the entire country.
“Even with all this technology and all these programmes we plan to execute, our togetherness remains our most potent weapon. This, I urge you once again, is the time for unity and tolerance. That is why we should meet the neighbours on whom we each depend for our safety,” he said.
“That is the truth behind the Nyumba Kumi Initiative. If each Kenyan will join with his neighbour and his government, then, neighbourhood by neighbourhood, we will secure this country.”
“Let us not, Fellow Kenyans, forget the lesson taught here; let us not forget the power of a nation united in goodwill. Indeed, it is our unity – our unity of purpose – that won the freedom of speech which we enjoy now.”
He noted that even on security, “Our unity is needed now than never before. Terrorists, thieves and poachers threaten our lives, our property and our national heritage. Our first defence is our men and women in the disciplined services.”