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President Kibaki's New Year message

BUSINESS
By | January 1st 2011

Fellow Kenyans,

Happy New Year...

I am delighted to address you, as we usher in the New Year - TWENTY ELEVEN. I take this opportunity to wish you all a happy and prosperous new year.

As the New Year begins, let us thank God for watching over our country.

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 Members of Parliament, 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. I also urge us all to demonstrate genuine patriotism in overcoming challenges which may arise in the process of implementing the constitution.

On the economic front, we have closed the year on a positive note. The economy recorded a 5 percent growth rate compared to 2.6 percent the previous year.

The economy is projected to expand by 6 percent 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. The Government will therefore, continue to strengthen the Youth Enterprise Development Fund, to enable our youth access affordable credit. The Economic Stimulus programs, targeted at the youth will also be expanded.

The Government will also enhance security so that wananchi can freely engage in economic activities. The ongoing police reforms will be sustained, to ensure a police service that is professional and accountable to the people.

Additionally, attention will be paid to community policing by developing a policy and legal framework that provides for the participation of communities and private security providers in policing.

In conclusion, fellow Kenyans, 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.

Finally, I thank you the Kenyan people for your dedication to our country. I salute your hard work that has enabled us make the strides we have made as a nation.

Above all, let us commit our country to God to guide us in the months ahead.

It is we, the Kenyan people, who will be called upon to overcome the challenges we will face. We should also embrace the opportunities that come our way, especially under the expanded East African Community.

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 ninth referendum. It is our hope that peace will prevail during and after the process.

Once again, I wish you all a happy and prosperous New Year.

Thank you and God bless you all.

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