Politics and policy
Kibaki hails KDF role as Kenya marks Mashujaa Day
Posted Saturday, October 20 2012 at 18:34
- Kibaki paid a glowing tribute to the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) who have been fighting Al-Shabaab militants in Somalia.
- The President enumerated the gains the economy has made, singling out the 4.5 per cent economic growth rate last year
- He said that other sectors including the finance and banking, information communication and technology, building and construction, and hospitality sectors had expanded growth
- President Kibaki also gave a stern warning to the secessionist group Mombasa Republican Council
President Mwai Kibaki used the country’s third Mashujaa (Heroes) Day celebrations on Saturday to pay a glowing tribute to the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF), who have been fighting Al-Shabaab militants in Somalia.
East Africa’s largest economy sent its troops into the neighbouring country last year after suspected Al-Shabaab militants kidnapped tourists from Kenya and took them into Somalia, threatening the tourism sector which brings in billions every year.
KDF was a major boost to the Somali Government Forces and other Amisom troops in the taking over of the port city of Kismayu which was one of the major strongholds of the Al-Shabaab militants.
“Early this month the forces successfully took control of the Port of Kismayu. I commend our KDF forces, the Somali Government Forces and AMISOM for a well-executed take-over of Kismayu,” said President Kibaki.
The President said that the troops who have since then been integrated into the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) will stay for as long as Kenya’s security is under threat from the militant group that has been operating from Somalia.
Tourism earnings last year rose by 32.8 per cent to Sh97.9 billion helped by a weak shilling and increased arrivals that grew by 15.4 per cent to 1.26 million despite a series of travel warnings by mainly by European and North American countries after the kidnapping of tourists.
A British tourist, Judith Tebbutt, was abducted at a Lamu resort and her husband killed on September 11 and on October 1, another tourist who was a French citizen Marie Dedieu, was abducted by gunmen suspected to be from Somalia. She died about a month after the abduction.
The President enumerated the gains the economy has made, singling out the 4.5 per cent economic growth rate last year, the drop in the rate of inflation this year, gains made in the agricultural sector and the Kenya Tea Development Agency adding that tea is now the number one foreign exchange earner.
“To achieve more prosperity for our people, we must guarantee our nation’s security. This is the reason why one year ago our Kenya Defence Forces were mandated by the Cabinet and Parliament, to pursue and deal with the threat of Al-Shabaab inside Somalia,” said President Kibaki.
He said that other sectors including the finance and banking, information communication and technology, building and construction, and hospitality sectors had expanded growth and that this was made possible by investments in infrastructure and social sectors over the last ten years.
President Kibaki gave a stern warning to separatist group Mombasa Republican Council which the government has been cracking down on and other groups around the country that have recently been causing chaos
“As a Government we will take firm and decisive action in dealing with those who have issued threats of
secession or those who threaten our security. Kenya is one unitary state. The Constitution is clear on that and so is our history,” he said.