President Uhuru Kenyatta has advised Kenyans to elect steadfast leaders capable of uniting the country and offering solutions to challenges facing wananchi, pointing out that building the nation was not an easy task.
Speaking on Thursday evening at State House, Nairobi, when he hosted close to 2,000 Muslim leaders from across the country for Iftar, President Kenyatta noted that Kenya requires a leader who cherishes peace and unity and not one who is driven by selfish interests.
“I want to tell you building a nation is not easy as most people think. It is not easy. There are so many storms and it requires A steady hand, not a hand that looks at everything from a selfish point of view. Not a hand that rather than seek to resolve problems you seek to look for somebody to blame.
“Now if you are looking for somebody to blame instead of fixing the problem how can you be a problem solver? You are a problem identifier. And this country requires a problem solver because there is no day where problems will cease, problems will continue to arise,” President Kenyatta said.
The President urged Kenyans to continue praying for their nation as they prepare to elect leaders who will strive to provide solutions to problems affecting the country by uniting all Kenyans irrespective of their religion, colour or race in the forthcoming elections.
“So you need people who are willing to pull together and solve problems because that is the only way a country develops. And that’s why I am requesting my Muslim brothers and sisters this time round and in this Holy month, I ask you, we pray for peace and unity.
“We pray that we get a leader who will unite us and continue tackling our problems,” he said.
President Kenyatta drummed up support for the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya political coalition Raila Odinga saying he was the best suited to inherit the country’s leadership from him after the August polls.
He said Mr Odinga was a genuine and mature leader with a deep sense of love for his country and a track record of political steadfastness.
“I request you that we all unite under the umbrella of Azimio. And when I look left or right, I see no other (person) who has the capability of uniting us, who has the capacity to forgive, who has the capacity to be calm and patient other than Hon. Raila Amolo Odinga.
“I am not saying that because I hate anyone. I don’t hate anybody but there are actions that human beings hate. Maybe one day we will forgive those others when they remember that patience pays, peace is important and humility is a great virtue. Pride is not the way to leadership but humility. One has to be humble to get leadership,” President Kenyatta elaborated.
Once again, the President likened the country’s leadership to a relay race where one administration builds upon the foundation laid by others who were before them and urged Kenyans to shun divisive leaders.
“Let me say building a nation is not a one-day affair but a continuous exercise. It is what we call a relay race. You run and hand over the baton to your colleague. And Kenya is here and it will continue to endure even after we are long gone.
“Many have been with us and many have left and we thank them for what they did and the achievements they made,” he said.
On development, the President pointed out that Kenya had made tremendous progress in infrastructure and other sectors of the economy noting that it would have been impossible to achieve such monumental successes without peace and tranquillity.
“We have peace, we have achieved some progress as we worked together. We are united and wananchi have the freedom and democracy to express themselves freely and most important they have the freedom of worship. All religions are accepted and honoured without discrimination or favouritism and that is the foundation of a great nation.
“The fact that any Kenyan wherever you may be, whatever your colour, whatever your religion, whatever your gender, that you are free and feel that Kenya is your home. That is the basic essence of a society that is moving in the right direction.
The President also spoke about ongoing efforts to address the human suffering caused by the drought and famine ravaging parts of the country saying the Government was doing everything possible to address the dire situation.
The clergy and leaders who spoke at the event expressed gratitude to President Kenyatta for hosting them every year during the Holy Month of Ramadhan noting that for the last nine years, the Muslim community have had a great time sharing Iftar with the Head of State at State House, Nairobi.
Tourism CS Najib Balala noted that President Kenyatta will go into history books as one of the greatest leaders who worked extremely hard to unite all Kenyans.
Mr Balala said under President Kenyatta’s leadership, the Muslim community had been brought to the centre of Kenya’s development agenda thereby enabling them to play their role in nation-building.
“It is only in your government that we Muslim leaders and us who work under you know what you mean for this country. You have built infrastructure even from where you did not get votes. You built communities and bridges where there were no bridges to build. You brought people together,” the Tourism CS said.
Muslim leaders among them Sports CS Amina Mohamed, Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho, National Chairman of the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (SUPKEM) Hassan Ole Naado, Sheikh Khalifa and Sheikh Abdullahi Abdi also spoke at the event, commending President Kenyatta for his magnanimity which they said makes every Kenyan feel appreciated by their Government.
The Muslim leaders assured the President of their continued support saying their immediate focus was helping the Head of State to cement his legacy of progressive and peaceful Kenya.
The event was attended by several Governors, parliamentarians, Government officials and captains of the industry representing all sectors of the Kenyan economy.