African Press International (API)

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Testament of renewed hope for a new Kenya

Posted by African Press International on September 11, 2007

By Kalonzo Musyoka

The vision behind my presidential candidature and agenda for Kenya and Kenyans is about a new servant leadership, based on personal integrity, rule of law, social justice, a new constitutional dispensation and economic prosperity.

I invite you to a paradigm shift in the way we plan and manage public affairs Mwelekeo mpya and maisha bora. But who is Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka? What right does he have to run for the office of President? What makes a man born without wealth, privilege or connections think he can presume to put his name on the presidential ballot?

In all humility, I have earned this place. I have earned the right to put my name on the presidential ballot. What is Kenya today? I have a simple answer. Look at me. I was born in a mud house in faraway village. I was a shoeless child who embraced education.

I consumed it hungrily. It gave me a profession. It gave me the means to provide for my family and raise my children. More importantly, it gave me a voice. It gave me language. And language gave me the power to name evil and defend good.

I belong to the post-independence generation, a younger generation. My life was not defined by the struggle against colonial rule. My generation respects our history all of our history, good and bad. I hail the heroes of our independence struggle. I applaud strides made in development. But we live for the future, not the past.

I am a patriotic Kenyan, a lawyer, a Christian, a husband and a father. All these combine to make me what I am. I see Kenya thought these truths. And I see is a nation of hope and grand potential. But a nation that lacks leadership.

That is why I stand before you and announce my campaign for President. However, the race we begin today, ending at State House in December, is not just about Kalonzo Musyoka. It is a journey by all of us. It is about a team, not an individual. I dare say I am the least in the team.

I believe that our greatest strength as a nation is our diversity. Kenya is made up of 43 tribes and other ethnic and racial groups. I believe that the only way we will realise our destiny is if we embrace and empower all members of our society. That is how Kenya becomes greater than the sum of its parts.

One of the responsibilities of leadership is to unify the various entities. Strong leadership makes a nation inclusive, not exclusive.

Some believe that Kenyas problems can be solved by writing a new constitution. I strongly share that conviction, they believe that corruption, bad management and weak leadership can be solved with a different form of Government, and a more responsive Legislature. I believe that too. But this is the easy way out. I do not believe, for a minute, that you can legislate honesty and good governance.

If there is a flaw in our system of Government today, it is the lack of strong, independent and consistent leadership. The most effective way to change bad Government is the installation of leadership that respects institutions. I will provide that leadership.

It is always easier to find fault than it is to sing praise. Many discuss Kenyas failings by comparing our country to other prosperous countries of a similar size or history. But when we compare Kenya to South Korea, do you feel depressed or challenged?

Is it fair to wonder why we do not have an economy and a standard of living comparable to that of Singapore or Malaysia? May be, may be not. I implore Kenyans to rise to the challenge and proclaim: We can do it. The most important goal of my administration will be to embrace the greatness of our nation and to rally Kenyans to surpass the development in those countries.

What, then, are the key issues facing Kenyans today? What are the issues that will consume my time and energy as President?

First, we must re-energise our economic growth by focusing on small and medium enterprises, broadening the use of information and communication technology and deepening the service sectors as vehicles for sustainable growth.

K

enyans possess human genius. All we need is to attract more investment necessary to turn our dreams into reality. We shall fast track investment in infrastructure to propel economic growth. We have the products and the people. All we need are the roads, railways and airports to connect us to our own markets and the hungry markets of the global economy.

The second issue facing our country is grinding poverty and unemployment. The ODM-Kenya government will ensure equitable distribution of the economic gains across our society.

Third is personal security. How safe do you feel in your homes and on your streets today? Do you feel safer today than you did five years ago? Or are you more fearful? I bet definitely yes. We will fight for and guarantee security for all Kenyans.

Fourth, we in ODM-Kenya are committed to concluding constitutional reforms and effecting fundamental changes in democratic political party politics, greater entrenchment of democratic principles and deepening the democratisation process. Specifically, we shall spearhead the enactment of a new constitution that should serve Kenya for many generations to come.

The fifth key issue for my government will be adherence to the rule of law. This means that all Kenyans have equal rights, no matter what gender. The most effective tool against the scourge of corruption is the rule of law, transparency in Government and an enlightened, engaged and firm leadership. When elected, we shall uphold utmost respect for institutions.

Sixth, dear Kenyans, we trust that you will give us the opportunity in the election to deliver on our blue print on universal quality education, adequate health care, decent housing and clean water.

The NARC dream born in 2002 was about a better Kenya for all Kenyans. Today, we are saying and reaffirming that this dream is still alive in ODMKenya. Those who disagreed with the Government-sponsored draft constitution that was meant to kill the dream are still soldiering on under ODM Kenya.

ODM-Kenya portrays the face of Kenya and Kenyans. It represents the best of the new generation of leadership, appropriately blended with the vital wisdom of those with long experience. No orange cutting is ever grafted on a seedling neither on a stem withering with fatigue of time.

It is time for the third and final liberation. When we leave Kasarani, let us go to the villages, to the urban centres, to the hills and to the valleys and tell the people to keep hope alive for help is around the corner.

The writer is the ODM-Kenya presidential nominee. He gave the speech after winning the party nomination

Lifted and published by Korir, African Press International(API)/ African Press in Norway(APN) africanpress@chello.no tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525 source.standard.ke

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