Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am pleased to be here this morning to grace yet another passing-out parade of these fine men assembled before us. I am sure we all appreciate the fantastic display we have witnessed before us, which speaks directly to the quality of training they have received.
As I have always pointed out, these are a very special cadre of citizens. They have endured months of rigorous training and borne significant personal sacrifice in order to stand here today ready to serve their motherland, Kenya.
I salute you all. You know better than anyone what an achievement it is to be standing where you are. Today, as you join the ranks of your esteemed colleagues in the General Service Unit, you deserve to don your uniforms with honour and pride.
Your success is not only in completing this programme or in joining an eminent security agency widely renowned for its operations. Rather, it is, primarily, in embracing the high call to protect and serve your people with humility, diligence, excellence, and a commitment to justice.
That is a boast no one can take from you—provided you, in carrying out your duty, you ensure you observe to the letter the values that have been commended to you thus far.
Henceforth, your lives hinge on a singular, sacred duty: securing and serving Kenyans. You are called to carry out this duty without prejudice: without regard for differences in ethnic group, race or religion, privilege, power or position.
You must act in ways that are reasonable and right, fair-minded and lawful; practical and not just popular. You will be required to push aside many personal preferences and many personal pursuits in the service of your motherland and fellow citizens.
I will be honest with you: fulfilling that mandate will be difficult. It will take the kind of ready resolve, steady courage and clarity of conviction, which no programme can teach you.
Soon, you will be deployed across the country to eliminate security threats, apprehend criminals, diffuse tense situations between groups and restore peace.
Across the country, these services are sorely needed. You yourselves know that there are several places where rogue elements of society are attempting to subvert the law and commit crimes, in the name of addressing grievances. You will be called on to support operations in such areas.
But let me remind you all that, the need for a strong police force is further heightened by the reality that we are in an election year. Tragically, we have a history replete with scenes, which, in a democratic process that should be a cause for celebration, degenerates into deathly violence.
I know we have made tremendous progress since the painful experience of 2007 in stabilizing our Nation, but we must remain on our guard. Sadly, there are some in this country who profiteer from spreading hate, division, fear and panic.
There are some who have, for reasons best known to them, a vested interest in violence. We must spurn their ideology, and stand firm against their advances. We must be vigilant to keep the sparks of reckless rhetoric—of hate speech and idle talk—from evolving into furious fires of political violence. That is a burden we all bear, but it weighs especially heavy on you.
Remember that in times when the character of our Nation is tested, we look to you to rescue us and help us find our way back.
I have laboured on this matter because, experience worldwide has shown that it is only secure, stable nations that have succeeded in achieving and sustaining shared prosperity.
Our Vision 2030 will remain a mere dream unless we secure our nation. We have to cultivate trust and confidence of our inventors, both domestic and foreign, if our economy is to continue to grow rapidly and create the jobs we badly need for our youth.
Thus, if you are unfaithful to the vow you have made today, and allow yourself to fraternize with lawlessness, we dent the confidence of our entrepreneurs and in consequence our Nation suffers. I, therefore, urge you to remain above reproach.
Finally, Graduands, I offer my pledge that now, as always, my Administration will support you.
We will ensure your welfare is catered for; we will continue to ensure you have access to the resources you need, including the highest quality equipment, to ensure you effectively deliver on your mandate.
We will invest in your health, and equally important, your safety. Over the last four years members of the security services have experienced the changes that this Administration has instituted: from inaugurating a health insurance programme, to increasing police housing to modernizing police equipment.
I am also committed to continued constructive engagement that allows me to hear and better understand your needs. That allows us to amicably resolve any arising issues, thus helping all of us to remain effective partners.
In short, Graduands, I look forward to working with you, to advance the security of our beloved country and our citizens. Welcome to that duty; note it begins today.
Finally, let me wish you every success for the future; and thank you, in advance, for your service.
May God bless you. May God bless the Republic of Kenya.