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Unite to mark independence, President Uhuru Kenyatta says

KENYA @ 50
By Rawlings Otieno | November 11th 2013

By Rawlings Otieno

Kenya: President Uhuru Kenyatta has urged Kenyans to unite in reflection, commemoration and celebration as the country marks its golden jubilee of independence.

The President gave assurances that the government will lead the commemoration in the spirit of the current Constitution.

“There was a time when Kenya was, for all intents and purposes, the property of government, and government was distinct from the citizens. A regrettable civic schism occurred, which swallowed all efforts to build a united, prosperous nation,” he said.

The Head of State made the remarks during the Kenya at the 50 Presidential dinner at Nairobi National Park. Uhuru asked Kenya at 50 organisers to engage county governments in the preparations.

“This is the reason why Kenya at 50 must involve every Kenyan wherever they are. I request you to bring on board ideas from as many Kenyans as possible. In fact, I expect you to take in the perspectives of expatriates, because our national family is diverse,” he added.

During the event, corporate sponsors pledged over Sh2.5 billion towards legacy projects in commemoration of independence celebrations. The sponsors include Safaricom and the National Social Security Fund (NSSF).

Kenyatta also said his government appreciates the enthusiasm of the corporate world. Already, the Kenya at 50 steering committee has proposed a national lottery and a scholarship initiative that shall identify the most needy but talented children from across all the 47 counties.

“We wish Kenyans to remember how love, unity, loyalty and selflessness overcame sabotage, saved Kenya and brought her to the cusp of great promise,” said the Head of State.

Already the Kenya at 50 Steering Committee has proposed a national lottery and a scholarship initiative that shall identify needy but talented children from across all the 47 counties.

Media campaign

A media awareness campaign will also be included even as the secretariat seeks partnership with the private sector to raise funds and material support for the programmes.

The team is working with Kenyans in the Diaspora and will use international events such as sports to publicise the event.

The national flag will also be hoisted on the eve of this year’s Jamhuri Day Celebrations, reminiscent of the night of 11th December 1963 when the Union Jack was brought down and the Kenyan flag of black, white, red and green was raised high to mark the beginning of independence.

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