Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta has urged Kenyans to reject violence and intimidation during Tuesday presidential elections, saying resilience, unity and strength depict the spirit of Kenyan people.
Kenyatta was addressing the nation on Monday August 7, 2017 at State House Nairobi ahead of tomorrow’s election.
“As we reach the final few hours of this general election campaign, let me to take this opportunity to speak to you directly, today, not as a political candidate, but as your President, President of our great nation, the Republic of Kenya,” he stated.
He recalled what his late father, Jomo Kenyatta, once told him: “Our children may learn about the heroes of the past. Our task is to make ourselves the architects of the future.”
“Well indeed, my father and those who worked closely with him to liberate our country are, indeed, my heroes. I often think about what they would say about the last four years of my Presidency; whether they would be proud of what I have done and what advice they would have given to me. But what I know without any doubt, is that they would be proud of their country and us as its people,” he said.
Uhuru reminded Kenyans that their forefathers would be proud of the progress they have made together; of the resilience and strength that they have shown, as the Kenyan people, when faced with hardship and adversity, and even when confronted by the very face of evil itself.
“Because that, ultimately, is the spirit of the Kenyan people. I am thoroughly encouraged by the resilience of our people. We don’t run away from challenges; instead we embrace them together.”
Kenyatta said Kenya’s history as a nation is defined by the ability, time and time again, to unite and achieve the impossible, not to simply complain from the sidelines.
“Our forefathers understood that all too well. And that same Kenyan spirit is as alive today as it was, during the struggle for our independence. I also think about whether I live up to their call that we serve as architects of the future. “
Kenyatta noted that he worked hard day and night over the last four years, to lay the foundation for building a strong and prosperous Kenya.
“But the truth is, we have worked together as a people to lay that foundation. Every single Kenyan has played his /her role as an architect of our future.”
He added: “We have young entrepreneurs carving out our nation’s new job-creating 21st Century economy; we have mothers, battling the effects of drought to continue to put food on their family’s tables; and we have builders, forging thousands of miles of roads, railway and electricity to connect brother to brother, sister to sister, mother to son, farmer to market and business to customer.”
He observed that although many Kenyans are still struggling, the spirit of the Kenyan people every day; the spirit of architects laying the foundation for the nation’s future prosperity- across every corner of the country will help them prevail.
“It is, indeed, this spirit that I want all of us to reflect on as the national general election campaign comes to a close. Because the job of an architect also comes with enormous responsibility.”
He added: “Each and every one of us is charged by God and by the legacy of every great Kenyan who has lived before us, to care for one another, to love one another, to always consider the consequences for the future over the passions and ambitions of the present.”
He further reminded Kenyans that their mothers and fathers all struggled so that the new generation could have a better Kenya and a better future.
“They gave us the greatest gift any son or daughter could ask for; they gave us a home. They gave us our beautiful nation. If our fathers were here today, sitting next to us, I am certain that they would urge every Kenyan to do what I am about implore.”
Noting that their forefathers were the architects of the future, Kenyatta explained that the stewardship of trust has now passed on to new generation.
“We must not, and, I repeat, we must not disappoint them. No matter the result of this election, we must stand together as one people. Above all, we must reject intimidation. We must reject violence or any attempt to divide us.”
He added: “Kenya is the only home we have. It is the only home we know. Our children look to us to show them the way, to pass to them a country that is in a better state than that, that was left to us. We must not disappoint the founders of this nation and equally we must not betray our children.”
Kenyatta said he is confident that brighter, happier, more prosperous and peaceful days lie ahead for all Kenyans.
“I see a future where everyone can share in the wealth and prosperity of a modern, 21st century nation.”
He asked every single eligible citizen to turn out tomorrow in great numbers to do that which our democracy entitles you to do – vote for the candidates of their choice.
“But my plea is that as we do so, let us do so in peace remembering as I said yesterday, that after you cast your ballot, please go home. Go back to your neighbour. Regardless of where he/she comes from, their tribe, their colour or their religion, your neighbour is your brother.”
He continued: “Your neighbour is your sister. How you have voted should not in any way reflect or change the manner in which you have related to your neighbour. Shake their hand, share a meal and tell them ‘let us wait for the results’ for Kenya will be here long after this general election.”