Politics based on unity will help Kenya achieve prosperity, President Uhuru Kenyatta has said.
Addressing the nation during this year’s Madaraka Day celebrations at Kinoru Stadium in Meru County on Friday, the President noted that the said unity requires every Kenyan to play their part.
“I want every Kenyan to know that political stability based on unity, and honest government and people are the crucial factors in building real and lasting prosperity that changes all our families,” President Kenyatta said.
President Kenyatta observed that the same spirit of unity that Kenyans used to fight for freedom 55 years ago should now be utilized to foster lasting liberty and prosperity.
“Our founding fathers knew when they won Madaraka that there was no going back to the political structures that preceded colonialism. The world had changed too much, there were too many dangers to our freedom if we did not come together to forge a new nation,” President Kenyatta said.
He regretted that some politicians have made it their career to divide Kenyans along tribal lines every five years during elections, saying that situation must be stopped.
“We need to deal with it as leaders and as citizens. Unity is like an engine for a nation that hopes to escape the destructive pull of poverty and civil conflict, and even civil war,” the President said, adding that Kenyans should not allow political competition to divide them.
President Kenyatta said it was time Kenyans admitted that they had committed mistakes in the past and use that past experience to transform the society.
On his part, Deputy President William Ruto stressed that the unity the country was forging is a critical foundation in developing the country.
This journey to integrate Kenyans started in earnest in 2013, he said, a move that saw most small, tribal-leaning political parties merged into one – Jubilee Party.
“Our prime goal was to eliminate the politics of hate. Five years down the road, you have enjoined our friends in the opposition. Now, as a team, we can channel our energies to the development of our country,” said DP Ruto.
Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga said despite the country having gained independence more than half a century ago, ignorance, poverty and diseases were still engulfing Kenya.
“That is why my brother Uhuru Kenyatta and I decided to get united, and bring Kenyans together to not only battle these three challenges but also fight corruption and tribalism. This will move our country forward,” said Mr Odinga.
The rare unity of the politicians was lauded by South Africa’s Deputy President David Mabuza who noted that Africa was being encouraged by the positive move.
“We shall always be supportive of the unity, which offers a challenge to other African countries,” Deputy President Mabuza said.