Jamhuri Day celebrations

President Kibaki leads Kenyans in celebrating the 49th Jamhuri Day at the Nyayo National Stadium Nairobi Wednesday.

The ceremony will be the President's last national event as he prepares to leave office after the next General Election.

President Kibaki is expected to use the Jamhuri Day celebrations to outline the strides Kenya has made during his 10-year rule, key among them the economic growth registered, the various infrastructure projects undertaken over the period and the enactment of the new Constitution in 2010.

That the President is determined to showcase the development projects initiated and completed during his term has been demonstrated by the public functions he has presided over in recent days.

The latest was the opening of the KenGen power project in Mombasa last Friday and the commissioning of the Thika superhighway and the opening of the 250-kilometer Athi River-Namanga-Arusha highway linking Kenya and Tanzania.

Last month, the president commissioned the rail link from Syokimau to Nairobi to ease traffic congestion on Mombasa and Outering roads.

The event will provide the President with the last opportunity to address the nation on a national day given that the next national day will be Madaraka Day on June 1 next year after he has left office.

President Kibaki’s Jamhuri Day speech last year appeared to have been drafted on the presumption that the next general election would be held in August this year in line with the Constitution.

The president used the occasion to pledge the government’s commitment to ensuring that service delivery to Kenyans is not disrupted in the transition period as newly established County governments take over the running of public services at county level.

As he concluded his speech, the president advised that the nation’s stability must always inform the decisions and actions taken by leaders.

“As we are aware, our country will hold the General Election next year. In the run-up to the elections, I call upon our leaders to bear in mind that our country’s future and destiny is greater than the interests of any one individual. Let us all promote peace and understanding during this very important time in our nation’s history,” he stated.

He promised to convene a pre-election national cohesion and reconciliation conference early next year but this did not take place until September.

He outlined the steps the government had put in place to prepare for the elections including the appointment of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and the passage of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Act, the Political Parties Act and the Elections Act.

“I am confident that with the revamped institutions in place as well as a robust legal framework, Kenya will have a free, fair and peaceful General Election next year,” he said.