Kenya celebrates 50 years of independence from UK
12 December 2013, 20:38
Nairobi - Kenya celebrated 50 years of independence Thursday with its leaders
praising the progress the country has made since its freedom from
Britain, though some citizens feel the country would have done better
had it not been for corruption.
President Uhuru Kenyatta marked
the anniversary at a ceremony with song and dance and attended by 14
heads of state at the country's half-filled main stadium in the capital
city. Guests were also treated to a 21-gun salute and an air force
Kenyatta, whose father, Jomo, was Kenya's first
president, said the country has made great strides to eradicate poverty,
ignorance and disease which were identified as the country's greatest
challenges at independence.
He said that 90 percent of Kenyans are
now educated, most people can now access health care because of
increased facilities and trained medical staff and cited thousands of
successful local entrepreneurs engaging various businesses as a sign of
the economic growth.
Kenya is now a regional financial hub and
numerous multinational companies have set up regional and continental
offices in Nairobi, he said.
"We also have an enviable infrastructure network that facilitates trade across the country as well as the region," Kenyatta said
Bosire, a medical doctor, said she is "ambivalent" about celebrating
Kenya's 50th independence anniversary because the country should have
achieved much more.
Some doctors are quitting the profession or
looking for opportunities elsewhere because of frustrations with lack of
basic facilities in hospitals and poor pay, Bosire said.
acknowledged the increase in the number of hospitals in the country
since independence but said it fell short of what is needed because of
the population has also grown.
"The gap between the rich and the
poor has increased and that will lead to an increase in crime and other
social problems," she said.
Anti-Corruption crusader Mwali Mati
said Kenya has lost 30 years since independence to bad governance and
corruption and that the 50th anniversary should be a time of
Kenya is ranked the 136 out 177 countries surveyed by the anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International.
said his administration is taking radical steps to help Kenya's economy
grow faster which includes getting tough on corruption. "My government
in collaboration with Kenyans will get tough with those who use their
positions of power to acquire ill-gotten wealth," Kenyatta said at the
"We are committed to fostering an open,
tolerant and hardworking Kenya with modern institutions and adhering to
good governance," he said. "To do this, all leaders must be ready to be
held accountable for their actions."