President Uhuru Kenyatta Saturday launched the Jubilee Party with a promise that it will avoid the mistakes of other political parties that have failed to bring national unity.
The President told a roaring crowd of some 60,000 people that the party, formed after the dissolution and merger of 11 political parties, will embrace internal party democracy.
He said the party welcomes all Kenyans, whatever part of the country they call home, and that every member will get a fair hearing.
“The aim is for Kenyans to have genuine political choices where any one of us can feel at home without regard to the spelling of their names, the colour of their skin, their place of worship, their gender, or whether or not they’re disabled,” President Kenyatta said in a televised address at the Moi International Sports Complex, Kasarani.
The President said political parties and politicians have failed Kenyans in the past by thriving on divisions based on ethnicity.
He said every time Kenyans have united the country has made progress but every time there have been division, the citizens have paid a heavy price.
The President said the party is a generational statement of change from Kenyans who have learnt from the mistakes of their predecessors.
“It is the living proof that we have learnt from the mistakes of our predecessors. It is the embodiment of the will of the Kenyan people, who are deeply tired of political parties that are nothing more than special purpose vehicles to elect selfish leaders, or enclaves designed to protect tribal interests at the expense of the national good,” President Kenyatta said.
The Head of State said the new party embodies and celebrates the diversity of all Kenyans and will strive to build a stronger nation.
“The party we launch here today is an expression of our unity, our oneness, and our togetherness. In launching it, we renew, and we strengthen, the ties that bind Kenyans together. We rise from the ashes of conflict to express the beauty of reconciliation and collective purpose,” said President Kenyatta.
He also called on all politicians who thrive on the politics of division to read the signs of the times.
He said there are many politicians who still hope for opportunities of division and who have on many occasions chosen the path of violent, destructive and undemocratic politics.
“That is why I say now, to those who still sell the politics of division and negativity: you had your chance. You wasted it, again and again — always opting to divide Kenyans, rather than unite them. Your time is done,” said President Kenyatta.
President Kenyatta also added that the Jubilee Party will champion the Pan-African cause of greater prosperity for all Africans.
He said under the Jubilee administration, Kenya will pursue the vision for Africa by pushing for stronger regional integration, building better infrastructure to link the region and advocating for open borders to allow all Africans to work and travel freely on the continent.
The President said Kenya will remain committed to the robust role it plays in promoting regional stability.
The President spoke at the Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani where the Jubilee Party put on a display of its might and popularity drawing from all corners of the country.
The colourful ceremony was a culmination of three days of captivating political activities that included the dissolution of 11 political parties to form the Jubilee Party.
The parties held their National Delegates Conventions on Friday. The parties that dissolved to form JP are The National Alliance (TNA), United Republican Party (URP), Ford People, Grand National Union (GNU) and The Independent Party (TIP). Others were the United Democtratic Front (UNDF), Alliance Party of Kenya (APK), the Republican Council (RC) NFK, JAP and UPK.
Earlier Saturday, the delegates from the parties ratified the merger instruments of JP including its constitution, nomination rules and election rules
During the launching ceremony, Deputy President William Ruto introduced more than 40 MPs and five governors who have announced their defection to the party.
Malindi MP Gideon Mung’aro who spoke on behalf of coastal leaders said the region has realized enormous development in the last few years of President Kenyatta’s leadership and that is the reason they have decided to join the new party.
“Coastal residents have agreed to join the Jubilee Party in order to sort out problems facing the coastal region. We have seen what your government has done in the last three years to the coastal residents. Our people have received title deeds, roads are being built and piped water services is reaching our people,” he said.
Speaking on behalf 10 Ukambani MPs who joined the new part, Kilome MP Regina Ndambuki said lower Eastern residents are ready to work with the President to realize their development agenda and would not want to be associated with political parties which divide Kenyans on tribal grounds.
Former chairman of the defunct Constitutional Implementation Commission Charles Nyachae, who spoke on behalf of the Gusii said the people will work to work with the President under the new party to realize the development agenda of the nation.
“Gusii people have been consulting. The Abagusii have committed themselves and they are now primary stakeholders of the new Jubilee Party,” he said.
The colourful event was also attended by delegations from other countries.
The representative of the Communist Party of China said their party will work closely with Jubilee Party to bring prosperity for Kenya and China.