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Happy birthday Kenya!

11 December 2013, 18:30 Peter Kenneth

Fifty years of independence is not a small achievement; it is definitely worth commemorating. Happy birthday Kenya!

This is a fitting moment for us to salute the founders of our nation and the subsequent generations of Kenyans, all of whom have played an important role in bringing our country this far. Together, we have all laid a foundation for future generations to take this country to even greater heights.

As we reflect on the 50 year journey, we can see the transformation of our nation. We must be proud of our achievements which have placed us in the leadership of our region in many spheres of life. Let us all take a moment to celebrate our country even as we take this opportunity to reflect on the long journey that lies ahead of us.

Nonetheless, this must also be an opportunity for us to reflect more deeply on the journey and look even more keenly at the steps we have missed along the way.

For us to have any hope of a better future, we have to look at our failings in the past and the opportunities we have missed not with regret but with a genuine commitment to do better at every opportunity afforded us in the future.

As a nation, we must commit to moving even faster over the next fifty years and beyond.

Our founding fathers set out to build a united nation and to conquer hunger, disease and ignorance.

However, 50 years later, a majority of our people continue to languish in poverty without the hope of attaining a quality education, adequate healthcare or even sufficient nutrition. Years of leadership that has failed to fulfill the promise have pushed the dream further and further away. This situation is no longer tenable; the promise of a brighter future must carry all of us along because our destiny as a people is interconnected.

On this occasion of our Golden Jubilee, my message to Kenya is that it is time for us all to rededicate ourselves to the service of our country.  May this be a moment for the leaders to remember promise to all Kenyans, especially those who are trapped in poverty, and give them hope, a reason to be proud of being Kenyan.  Let us take this as an opportunity for us to redefine our focus and concentrate on improving the lives of our people for all our sakes.

I wish you, your loved ones, relatives and friends a commemorative Jamhuri Day, a Merry Christmas and happy New Year 2014!

Peter Kenneth was the Presidential Candidate for Kenya National Congress party in the March 4 polls

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