Written by Carolyn Wamalwa
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President Kibaki has sounded a strong warning to criminal groups out to compromise the country’s security, saying that his government will not tolerate terrorist groups’ activities which pose a threat to the national security as well as the lives of innocent citizens.
The president warned that the government will not relent the fight against such criminal groups and urged citizens to play a role in forestalling the menace, by being on high alert and to report suspect activities to the authorities.
“We are telling those who threaten us that, we will not relent in taking steps that will guarantee our national security. As a nation, we will never be intimidated. We will hunt down and deal with those who pose danger to our people. I urge Kenyans to complement their efforts by volunteering information that would lead to their arrest and prosecution. Do not harbour a criminal or a terrorist who is a danger to your brother and sister and fellow Kenyan,” said the Head of State.
Addressing the nation during the Madaraka Day celebrations in Nairobi, the president also revealed that the government has prepared the Assumption of the Office of the President Bill which will be tabled before parliament for adoption.
The president added that the bill will enable a smooth transition of power after the general elections and implored Kenyans including political leaders to observe peace, unity and patriotism during the elections, which he promised will be conducted in Peaceful, free and fair manner.
“The government has prepared The Assumption of Office of the President Bill which will be tabled in parliament very soon; this bill among other provisions details how the president elect will take over office and processes of handing over with stipulated timelines," he said.
In his address, Kibaki recounted the gains made by the government under his stewardship in the health, education, investment sectors as well as infrastructural development and expressed enthusiasm that the legacy will be carried forth in years to come.
“Looking back I am glad that we have lived up to our pledges. Today we have a new constitution that devolves responsibility and governance structures to the people, millions of our children are in schools, health services are more accessible and affordable, we have made more progress in building and rehabilitating our roads, a majority of our people can now access affordable credit not only through the formal banking sector but also through specialized institutions such as the youth and women enterprise funds,” he asserted.
Further, President Kibaki lauded economic gains realized in the country and asserted that efforts were being made to strengthen the economy and to cushion the country’s investments as well as create avenues that will enhance expansion and survival of key sectors.
He said, “Despite the overall slowdown in the performance in the year 2011, our economy remains resilient and key sectors continue to perform well, foreign exchange earnings for example from tourism increased by 33 per cent from 74 billion in 2010 to 98 billion that year.”
The president assured the country of further infrastructural enhancement including a Sh. 30 billion bypass at Dongokundu to enhance communication, networking and transportation which will connect the Kenyan Coast and neighboring countries.
President Kibaki lauded innovative efforts made by the youth especially attempts to start up small and medium sized investments which have led to self employment and subsequently strengthening the economy, and called on key players to support the initiative.
“I take this opportunity to commend our young people who are setting up small and medium sized businesses with little capital but with very many innovative ideas…these young people have decided to use their education and creativity to earn a living and generate employment, to support this initiative, I direct all relevant government agencies to develop strategies that will enable the small and medium business to grow financially and access the larger market.”
The President explained that the innovations help complement the formal sector which has been stretched in terms of providing employment and that the government will intervene to ensure that financial institutions develop youth friendly products to encourage investment as well as push for the youth to win Key contracts and tenders.
Kibaki also hinted that through the roads maintenance levies Fund, the government has allocated Sh. 30 million per constituency for repairs and maintenance of rural roads.
The President decried the alarming cases emanating from road carnage and ordered traffic police department to launch a crackdown on motorists and pedestrians faulting traffic rules.
Kibaki called on Motorists to exercise caution, obey highway codes, avoid reckless driving as well as driving under the influence of alcohol, and sounded a warning to rampant users of mobile phones while driving, cautioning that the law will catch up with them sooner or later.
“We must develop a sense of responsibility and observe order on our roads; the traffic amended traffic regulation will soon be implemented. These regulations will impose heavy punitive fines and jail terms to traffic offenders, am confident that it will deter motorist as well as pedestrians from deterring the Highway Code, he said
Other areas of focus he added will include: agriculture where the government is seeking to reduce dependence on rain based crops, with a Sh. 8.5 billion allocation to rehabilitate and expand irrigation schemes in Arid and Semi Arid areas, and a further Sh. 20 billion to expand various irrigation schemes in the country.
He assured of more allocations to the agricultural sector to improve access to farm inputs such as fertilizer and seeds.
The president affirmed that the fight against corruption was ongoing and urged Kenyans to embrace gains made by the government in taming corruption, and implored public officers to exercise accountability in their use of public funds.
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