News 2008


President Says Crisis a Turning Point

The East African Standard (Nairobi)

7 March 2008

Ben Agina


President Kibaki opened the second session of the Tenth Parliament with a passionate appeal to members to look inwards following events of the last two months.

The President said the events had caused him to reflect deeply on the half century of his active participation in the management of public affairs.

"I have come to appreciate and respect the resilience of our people and our country. I have seen Kenya go through some very critical moments," said Kibaki.

The President said Kenyans had used the crisis as a crucial turning point from which they had come out more focused and determined to stay on course to realise their collective vision of a free, just and
prosperous nation.

Kenyans, he said, should now fully comprehend the weaknesses and threats as well as the strengths and opportunities they have as a nation.

"Kenyans will always prefer peace over conflict, prosperity over desolation, unity over discord and justice over injustice," said Kibaki.

The President said it was for that reason that on February 28, he, together with ODM leader, Mr Raila Odinga, accepted and signed the National Accord because Kenyans had spoken clearly that they wanted one Kenya, in which all lived in peace, justice, and harmony. "Kenyans expected no less from either of us, and the people have embraced the Accord with joy," he said.

Kibaki observed that the deal was the first step towards achieving a prosperous and stable future for Kenyans, adding that it opened a new chapter in the management of national affairs.

However, he said, the successful implementation of the Accord will require goodwill, unity, good faith and integrity from MPs and leaders.

He urged MPs to ensure that the necessary Bills to implement the Accord and other social and economic reforms were dealt with promptly so that Kenya can be fully restored to, and even exceed its former glory.

The President stated, "As the Coalition Government, introduce four Bills that should be accorded the highest priority."

The four are the National Accord and Reconciliation Bill, the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, the Establishment of Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation Commission Bill and the Establishment of the
Ethnic Relations Commission of Kenya Bill.

As a nation, the President noted, the country has come through a challenging two months since the December 27 General Election.

He explained that the post-election violence shook the sense of nationhood.

In addition to the death toll, the post-election violence disrupted lives and destroyed farms, businesses and residential properties, said Kibaki.