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Embrace tech, Ruto challenges local varsities

Activities during Masinde Muliro University Science and Technology in Kakamega on December 9, 2022. [Michael Mute, Standard]

President William Ruto has challenged institutions of higher learning to invest heavily in technology and research.

Dr Ruto acknowledged that Kenyans are living in a digital generation that “demands we go to the depths of technology by employing scientific techniques, scholarly discipline, and modern technology and find answers to the hard questions of our time as well as develop appropriate solutions to the problems.”

Speaking at the Masinde Muliro University of Science at Technology graduation ceremony  yesterday, the President challenged the institution to help resuscitate the Mumias Sugar Company.

He also asked institutions of higher learning in the region to unravel what is needed to establish a gold refinery, tap the vast resources of granite and find mechanisms of value addition.

President Ruto urged the university to partner with the government and use private-public partnerships to build enough hostels.

Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi was conferred an honorary degree for his efforts in peace-building.

The institution’s Vice Chancellor Prof Solomon Shibairo said Mudavadi was recognised for his immense accomplishments in peace and sustainable development and his achievements as a person and a public officer.

“In his immense accomplishments in peace and sustainable development, Mudavadi has tangible achievements as a person and as a public officer and he has shown exemplary service to humanity and also he has been involved in extensive benevolence and charitable work,” said Shibairo.

“The pinnacle of his peace-making effort was demonstrated when he was named as the team leader of ODM side in the Koffi Annan mediation team during the 2007/2008 post-election violence in Kenya. Because of his peaceful disposition and commitment to end the mayhem, he was able to successfully mediate between his Kenyan counterparts and contributed immensely to the end of the 2007/2008 post-election violence.” read the citation in part.

In his acceptance speech, Mudavadi thanked the university leadership for bestowing on him the honor saying he has dedicated the honorary degree to those who have believed in him and his work over the years and to those who have been injured in the country in the struggle for peace.

“In many ways, this honor reflects the efforts of the Kenyan people of all walks of life who, for the last 59 years, have worked together to restore peace, security, national unity and reconciliation. In their endeavors, these Kenyans have managed to overcome serious adversity to usher in our nation’s collective aspirations for unity and sustainable development,” said Mudavadi.”

“It is with deep humility that I accept the great honor, the Doctor of Honoris Causa, an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters in Peace and Sustainable Development from a university named after one of the greatest nationalists of this country, the late Masinde Muliro,” he added.

Mudavadi also promised to live up to the ideals and expectations of the honor saying it has been his inspiration all along to live up to the positive ideals of the “founding fathers of our nation, Kenya, since independence.”

He said although at times Kenya has been peaceful and realized changes that propelled the country’s development to a higher level of recognition, at some point the levels of development have been accompanied by crises and upheavals.

Mudavadi has called for statesmanship and good governance while emphasizing the need for tranquility as the country navigates the hard economic times brought about by the poor management of public resources in the past regime, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the huge public debt that has choked Kenya’s economic stability.

“To manage and influence our people in a collectively beneficial manner, we need a long-term vision. Each of us as leaders needs to understand our situation, out of which we are called upon to motivate our people to keep peace and work towards sustainable prosperity,” said Mudavadi.

The event was graced by President William Ruto and attended by the Cabinet Secretary for Education Ezekiel Machogu, National Assembly speaker Moses Wetang’ula, Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba, governors Kenneth Lusaka (Bungoma), Wilber Ottichilo (Vihiga), and host governor Fernandes Barasa and a host of lawmakers from Kakamega and neighbouring counties.