The Star (Nairobi)

1 January 2014

Kenya: President Uhuru to Pursue Unity in 2014

PRESIDENT Uhuru Kenyatta has promised Kenyans that he will pursue reconciliation and unity in the New Year.

In his New Year message last evening, Uhuru said unity is important for a nation and reiterated his resolve to pursue it relentlessly. He said he looks forward to the New Year with great enthusiasm and optimism. Uhuru said he believes Kenya can achieve the Vision 2030 a decade earlier if all pulled together.

Uhuru also called on political leaders to pursue a brand of politics that helps to improve the welfare of the citizens of this country. "At Jamhuri Day I committed to national unity as one of my driving objectives, and so in 2014 my administration will pursue a theme of "Reconciliation and Unity towards inclusive growth," he said. The President commended Kenyans for the March 4 peaceful polls saying it "put our detractors to shame". He said other highlights of the year 2013 were ushering on of devolution and celebration of golden Jubilee.

"We had tough challenges along the way, but we had the resolve to tackle them in order to deliver improved lives to our people as outlined in our Jubilee manifesto," he said.

He said all projects launched in 2013 are on track. These include the free maternity services, construction of standard gauge railway and investments in energy sector among others.

Uhuru promised that the popular Laptop for schools programme "will begin in earnest in the coming weeks." "The Jubilee Coalition is committed to inclusive growth and improving the lives of all our people. Whatever it takes to do so - be it by legislation or policy that transforms our political, economic or social structures to accelerate growth - we shall do so," he said.

He reminded Kenyans that security remains a shared responsibility. He promised to remain engaged in resolving South Sudan crisis. He also saluted the Kenyan forces in Somalia.

"We must avoid parochial and divisive politics, and embrace a national culture that will define us positively in the next 50 years and beyond. Our national agenda must be progressive, issue-based and people-centred," he said.

He assured that his government will will encourage "mature and responsible engagement" among leaders; among the three arms of the government and between business sector and government.

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