SPEECH BY H.E. HON. MWAI KIBAKI, C.G.H., M.P., PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA ON THE OCCASION OF THE PROMULGATION OF THE NEW CONSTITUTION, FRIDAY, 27TH AUGUST, 2010
Today is a great day for Kenya. I salute all Kenyan citizens wherever they are. I feel honoured to be your President at this moment because this is the most important day in the history of our nation since independence.
Through a referendum, on 4th August, the year Two Thousand and Ten, we, the people of Kenya, on the basis of our own free will, overwhelmingly voted to renew our nation and usher in the Second Republic.
I have today, as President of this great republic, appended my signature on Kenya’s New Constitution, as an affirmation of the endorsement of the basic law of the land. I thank the Almighty God for guiding us through the peaceful referendum and for enabling us to witness this historic moment.
On your behalf, I wish to appreciate all those who have contributed intellectually as well as through sheer hard work and commitment to the realization of our New Constitution. I also wish to pay tribute to all those patriotic Kenyans who suffered injuries or lost their lives, freedom and property in the struggle for the New Constitution. We thank them and salute them.
This moment marks the decisive conclusion of the TWENTY-YEAR journey in search of a new constitutional order. This New Constitution is an embodiment of our best hopes, aspirations, ideals and values for a peaceful and more prosperous nation.
The New Constitution gives us renewed optimism about our country and its future. Some of us were present at the birth of the First Republic. As young leaders, we envisioned turning our newly born country into a prosperous, healthy, and developed nation in a generation or two. A lot has been achieved towards this goal, but much more work remains to be done.
The New Constitution gives our nation a historic opportunity to decisively conquer the challenges that face us today. It provides us an avenue to renew our fight against unemployment and poverty; an opportunity to work and become a developed people and nation.
As Kenyans, we should be proud for making history, as one of the few nations in the world that have successfully replaced their Constitution in an atmosphere of peace. I salute the Kenyan people for their courage, patience and determination during this long and sometimes painful journey.
This Constitution will fundamentally transform our nation politically, economically and socially. Some of the changes will be immediate and we must be ready to support them. Other changes will take time. We must remain resilient and focused as we work towards their fulfillment.
The changes envisaged in the New Constitution will present some challenges along the way. However, the New Constitution gives us better structures of governance to address the challenges more efficiently. Our resolve to complete the journey of our nation’s transformation must remain firm.