Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.
Welcome to the first post-election briefing. I trust you are well rested.
Let me start by thanking everyone who participated in the election, especially the ordinary Kenyan who stood in line, who cast her vote peacefully, and who waited so patiently to hear these results. You showed your faith in democracy, and in our country. Thank you.
This has been a long campaign: day after day, we have argued about the state of the nation and debated different visions of Kenya’s future. Now, the campaign is over. The arguments have been heard. Kenyans have made their choice: they have chosen President Kenyatta’s vision of progress and prosperity and transforming Kenya. It remains for us to reflect on the results, and to unite in building the country. It’s now time for us all to get back to work and move this country forward.
On the campaign trail, President Kenyatta often spoke about the foundation for prosperity that had been laid in his first term. We have achieved successes in education, in health, in agriculture, and in power — an extra 3 million households have been connected to the grid. And, of course, we have seen record investment in roads and in the Madaraka Express, connecting Kenyans to one another, and to markets for the goods and services we have to offer. These are achievements of which we can all be proud.
But, as the President has made clear, there is work to be done. In the next five years, he intends to make sure that every Kenyan — young men and women, in particular — feels the full effect of our progress. That is why he has committed to the creation of 6.5 million new jobs, especially for our youth, and that is why he has committed to cutting the cost of living. The President has also committed to ensuring our elderly live dignified lives in their sunset years, and that our mothers and sisters have an expanded post-natal healthcare as they bring forth the future generations of Kenyans.
With the gazetting of the President and the Deputy President’s election, we remain within the constitutional timelines. I mention that not just for its intrinsic interest, but also as a reminder that we must protect the constitutional democracy we enjoy. In the last few days, we have seen some protests. Peaceful protests are lawful exercises of a constitutional right and will be respected and offered protection by Police. But sadly, we have seen violent protests, in which property has been damaged, and lives have been endangered. The violent protests are unlawful, so let me be perfectly clear here: the Police will not tolerate breaches of the peace; instead, they will protect the lives and property of Kenyans; and they will restore law and order.
There are peaceful and constitutional means by which to address any grievances. The point is particularly pertinent for our young people: as the President often said on the campaign trail, those who incite violence and division will leave you to suffer the consequences. Don’t let yourself be a pawn in someone else’s game; let the Constitution decide any disputes that remain.
So, in conclusion, let me say this: It is now time for all of us to move forward in nation building activities aimed at achieving prosperity and development for the country. It is time to showcase to the world that Kenya is moving forward towards the attainment of its development objectives.
We remain one nation, under God, united by the unity of purpose; which is to see this country surpass its socio-economic potential for the positive advancement of all its citizens.
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to get back to work and Move Kenya Forward.
Manoah Esipisu, MBS
And State House Spokesperson