By JULIUS SIGEI firstname.lastname@example.org Posted Friday, December 31 2010 at 21:00
- Kibaki revels in the achievements of a good year and says better growth will benefit all
President Kibaki on Friday sent a New Year message of goodwill to Kenyans in which he praised their achievements in 2010.
He spoke of the challenges ahead, including the likely trial of six Kenyans at the International Criminal Court at The Hague over election-related violence that nearly broke Kenya three years ago.
The following is an edited version of his full speech:
“I am delighted to address you, as we usher in the New Year – 2011. I take this opportunity to wish you all a happy and prosperous new year. In the past year, we achieved important milestones in various areas of national endeavour. Among these milestones was the promulgation of the new Constitution.
The focus now is, on the implementation process, so that we can reap the benefits of the new dispensation. As the New Year commences, I urge MPs, all public institutions and other stakeholders to play their respective roles effectively, in order for us to meet the timelines laid out in the Fifth Schedule of our Constitution.
On the economic front, we have closed the year on a positive note. The economy recorded a 5 per cent growth rate compared to 2.6 percent the previous year.
The economy is projected to expand by 6 per cent in the coming year. An expanding economy means more opportunities for our people.
This is why our sights are set on a double-digit economic growth that creates more jobs.
This is important because the empowerment of our youth will remain a priority in the New Year.
I wish to note that the Government remains committed to seeking justice for victims of the post election violence.
As will be recalled, two years ago, the Government introduced two Bills namely; the Special Tribunal for Kenya Bill and the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, seeking the establishment of a Special Tribunal to try persons bearing responsibility for the post-election violence.
Although these Bills were rejected by Parliament, the Grand Coalition Government remains committed to a local judicial process and will accordingly take the necessary steps. As the process of dispensing justice gets underway in the New Year, I urge Kenyans to remain calm and demonstrate tolerance and patience.
We must all take due care to ensure that the process of seeking justice, does not erode the gains we have made in the direction of national healing and reconciliation.
In the spirit of good neighbourliness, I wish to extend our best wishes to the government and people of the Sudan, as they prepare to vote in the January 9th referendum. It is our hope that peace will prevail during and after the process.
Thank you and God bless you all.”