President Uhuru Kenyatta Saturday led Kenyans in marking Mashujaa Day with calls for unity in promoting national interests.
President Kenyatta called on Kenyans to shun politics of hatred, saying that hope and goodness always trump hatred.
“Building the Kenya we want is an unfinished work, full of challenges, but, with hope and confidence in our greatness, we will be able to tackle any challenge we face in building our Great Nation,” said the President.
President Kenyatta, who led the national Mashujaa Day celebrations at Kakamega’s Bukhungu Stadium and attended by Namibia President Hage Geingob, announced that former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, is now the African Union’s High Representative for Infrastructure Development in Africa.
The President said the high profile job would not have been given to a Kenyan if the politics of Kenya was still on the confrontational trends that characterised the days before the famous handshake.
“The African Union would not have given this job to my brother if we were still feuding. It is a big job and I believe Raila will not forget about our infrastructure needs,” said the President.
The Head of State said Kenya is lucky because it is blessed with people who always refuse to glorify hopelessness and who always aspire to follow the footsteps of the founding fathers who placed the interest of the country before their own needs.
“Kenya needs her children to love her and raise her up in their esteem, despite her shortcomings. Because we know Kenya is our only home, and that we received her from our parents and we must pass her on, in good shape, to our children,” said the President.
He called on Kenyans to trust in each other’s goodness and potential to be great so that they can work together to build a stronger nation.
“Kenyans, be brave in your life, act in ways that will make your children admire and esteem you. Let us lift up our Nation to the skies. That is the best way we can honour our men and women who paid dearly for the independence and freedom we enjoy today,” said the President.
President Kenyatta said he was proud that the example he has set with the former Prime Minister is being hailed all across Africa.
The Namibian President, who is on a State Visit, congratulated President Kenyatta and Raila, for setting a new trend for politics in Africa.
“We support you and we are proud of your actions aimed at promoting inclusivity,” said President Geingob. “Inclusivity spells harmony, exclusivity spells conflict,” he added.
In his speech President Kenyatta, promised that his Administration will step up the fight against corruption and improve accountability in the public sector.
He challenged the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to promulgate regulations and guidelines to consolidate the gains the Government has made so far.
The President also announced that the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and the EACC will be streamlined so that they can complement each other.
The Head of State said the ongoing anti-corruption prosecutions will no longer be limited to public officials.
“The ongoing prosecutions will not be limited to just senior public servants who betrayed their Oaths of Office, but also, their accomplices in the private sector, including those professionals who aid in the laundering of stolen public funds,” said the President.
The President used his Mashujaa Day speech to hail all Kenyans who have made the country proud including policemen, soldiers and athletes among others.
“I join other Kenyans in thanking the men and women who are preventing and reversing radicalization. We recognize that they come from every walk of life; some from the security services, others in civil society, and most are friends and relatives of those targeted,” said the President.
Speaking on issues of the economy, President Kenyatta said he has directed the ministry of agriculture to ensure that all monies owed by state owned sugar factories to sugarcane farmers are paid.
He said the Sh2.6 billion owed to the farmers will be paid out after a thorough audit is done. President Kenyatta also said that those who have been stealing funds meant for sugarcane farmers will be tracked down and brought to book.
The President said he is waiting for a report by a taskforce headed by the CS for Agriculture Mwangi Kiunjuri and Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya.
The President also announced the formation of another task force headed by Mr Kiunjuri, Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago and Trans Nzoia’s Patrick Khaemba on issues affecting maize farming in the country.
Further, President Kenyatta announced that he has directed the ministry of agriculture to put in place measures to revive cotton farming.
On the matter of payment to maize farmers which was mismanaged by the National Cereals and Produce Board earlier this year, President Kenyatta warned CS Kiunjuri that he would suffer consequences if there’s a repeat warning that all those who mismanaged the funds are being pursued.
On his part, Deputy President William Ruto said the Jubilee Government is fulfilling its promises to the people of Kakamega County noting that the construction of Kakamega-Webuye Road is progressing after a new contractor was given the job. The DP said 35,000 new homesteads will be connected to electricity in Kakamega in the next few months.