Kibaki assures smooth handover of power
Posted Friday, June 1 2012 at 14:00
President Kibaki has promised Kenyans a smooth handover of power after the next General Election.
Addressing the public at Nairobi’s Nyayo National Stadium during the 49th Madaraka Day celebrations, the Head of State said his government will expedite the enactment of a law that will guide the transition process.
The Assumption of the Office of the President Bill the President said, will be tabled in Parliament “soon”.
“I wish to assure the nation that the government will ensure peaceful, free and fair elections as well as a smooth transition,” he said.
"This Bill, among other provisions, details how a President-elect will take over Office and processes of handing over with clear timelines'" said President Kibaki.
His remarks were reassuring given that after the last General Election in 2007, the President was sworn in at dusk while controversy raged over his re-election.
It also sends the strongest signal yet that President Kibaki will not be willing to hang onto power.
Kenya goes to the polls next year, in March 4, and the President will not be vying. He has to vacate office after serving his two terms..
The President also said that the next polls will be peaceful, so that the country continues on the growth path. He noted that the elections will be very competitive, but warned the presidential aspirants that there was “no point” for heated campaigns.
"I call upon political parties, their leaders, aspirants running for the various political offices, and indeed all Kenyans to conduct themselves responsibly during the ongoing process to identify their future leaders. Let us all be peaceful, united and patriotic during this important period," he said.
“We keep seeing you all over boasting that you can do this job. The thing is, everyone in this race is a Kenyan. There’s no foreigner. Or have you seen one?” the President asked.
These remarks were made at the tail-end of his official address. It was one of those rare occasions that President Kibaki delved into Kiswahili after making his official speech
“Let’s make sure that after the elections, nothing bad happens. There’s nothing to change, because you’ll still be working where you’re working at the moment. Or where else do you think you will be?” said President Kibaki.
There is a crowded field of aspirants angling to succeed President Kibaki in what is shaping up to be a tight race to State House.
Among those who have indicated interest in the presidency include Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, Deputy Prime Ministers Uhuru Kenyatta and Musalia Mudavadi, Internal Security minister George Saitoti, Eldoret North MP William Ruto, Narc-Kenya leader and Gichugu MP Martha Karua, among others.
Justice minister Eugene Wamalwa, Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth and former presidential adviser Raphael Tuju are also in the race.
He revealed that “very soon” the military offensive in Somalia will end and Kenyans “will come back home”.
“Kenya’s security is tied to peace and stability in neighbouring countries,” he said.