President Uhuru Kenyatta today said it was time for Kenya to come up with new economic and political visions to prepare the nation for the great leap forward.
Likening Kenya’s situation to references in the Bible, the President said independent Kenya is in its 50s, and the holy book required nations to hit the reset button every 50 years.
He said the actions, which the people called “the Year of Jubilee” brought renewal to the soul; healing to the land and a fresh vision to its people.
The Head of State spoke at State House, Nairobi where he led the nation in marking the 57th Madaraka Day. The event was initially scheduled to be held in Kisumu but because of travel restrictions put in place to control the spread of Covid-19, it was held in Nairobi.
On politics, the President regretted the divisive nature of Kenyan politics and pitched for the recalibration of the country’s political architecture.
“If we have done great things in the area of brick and mortar, the greater things that remain to be done have to do with our governance system,” the President said.
The Head of State advised Kenyans not to fear changing the country’s political system saying it doesnt serve present and future purposes.
“We cannot re-imagine our nationhood without changing our political architecture. And we cannot change this architecture without re-engineering our constitution,” the President said.
He said his ambition is to improve on the Constitution and “get right what we got wrong in 2010.”
He said: “The constitutional moment I discern is one that will bring an end to the senseless cycles of violence we have experienced in every election since 1992”.
Besides politics, the President said Kenya also needs a transformation of its civic culture.
“If we are to push the re-set button and re-imagine our dreams as a nation, we must transform our civic culture to one that is biased towards duty, hard work and integrity.”
On the economy, President Kenyatta said his administration has made admirable progress towards the realisation of Vision 2030 through the implementation of the Big Four Agenda.
He noted that Vision 2030 comes to an end in 9 years and said that there is a real urgency for a new vision and a new dream.
Citing his administration’s investments in infrastructure, reforms in education, technical training, expansion of electric connections and improved healthcare, President said his administration’s transformative agenda was inspired by the collective dreams of Kenya’s founding fathers.
“My administration has built 1,000 kilometres of tarmacked roads every year. This is 44 times more than what the colonial administration built, and more than 4 times what the first three administrations built collectively per year,” the President recollected.
President Kenyatta also spoke on the development and expansion of ports as gateways to regional and international markets.
With the construction of the new Lamu port and the revival of Kisumu port underway, he said the government will keep investing in transformative infrastructure projects.
Alongside the Standard Gauge Railway which already runs between Mombasa and Naivasha, the President said his administration is overseeing the revival of the old railway lines.
“Apart from the SGR, I am reviving the defunct Nairobi-Nanyuki railway line, traversing six counties. The rehabilitation of the Naivasha to Malaba metre gauge line is also about to commence”.
The President said the Government continues to carry out reforms in the country’s education sector especially in technical and vocational training so as to reposition the nation’s human resource for the dynamic world economy.
The Head of State also spoke in detail on the huge improvements electricity distribution saying in his Sevens years at the top, 3.5 million new households have been connected to electricity compared to 4.5 million households recorded from the time of colonialism to 2013.
“This means that we have done 15 times more than the previous administrations, to connect our people to electricity,” the President said in the televised ceremony also addressed by Deputy President Dr William Ruto and Mr Wycliffe Oparanya, the Council of Governors Chairperson who is also the Kakamega County Governor.
On health, the President said his administration is fast tracking the roll out of the universal health coverage programme noting that every county now boasts of modern medical equipment.
Speaking briefly on the Covid-19 containment measures currently in place, the President said the government is consulting with religious leaders and stakeholders in the education sector on the way forward.
DP Ruto said the Covid-19 pandemic has taken a big toll on Kenyans and has altered lifestyles.
He noted that with schools closed, places of worship shut and many losing sources of income, life has been turned upside down for many.
The DP called on every Kenyan to support the measures instituted by the government to mitigate against the effects of Covid-19.
Governor Oparanya commended the President for his frontline role in the fight against Covid-19 saying the national government has continued to provide resources needed by counties to deal with the pandemic.