Kenyatta commends NGO's
01 August 2014, 19:14
Nairobi - President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday commended
non-governmental organisations in Kenya, saying they had helped in the
improvement of democracy and governance.
He at the same time challenged them to change tact and
partner with the government for the common good of Kenyans.
The President said the NGOs needed to embrace a new era of
cooperation devoid of unnecessary confrontations associated with the past.
“NGOs must radically rethink the framework of engaging the
government and its institutions and stop giving the unfortunate impression that
Kenya has not changed. Kenya has changed,” the President said.
He said although the adversarial framework of the past was a
necessary means of engaging repressive, undemocratic and intransigent
governments, the Jubilee government wished to partner with the NGOs to work for
the interests and aspirations of all Kenyans.
Speaking during the 25th Anniversary of the NGO
Co-ordination Act at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC), the
President regretted that some stakeholders in the NGO sector still preferred
riotous spectacles and wasteful confrontation.
“There is a lot for us to do for the people of Kenya. Let us
have a full, open and honest conversation on how to get it all done. My
government is fully committed in this,” he said.
The President, however, commended the NGOs for their splendid
work, saying they had ensured greater democracy, broader popular participation
and better governance in the country.
“Political pluralism, rights-based approaches to governance,
policy design and implementation, checks and balances as well as responsiveness
by government are features of our national discourse ushered in by determined
NGOs activity,” he said.
The President said that the NGOs had made a huge imprint on
the national landscape to the extent that one criticism of the Constitution has
been that it is replete with NGO concepts and expressions.
The President affirmed his commitment to the implementation
of the Constitution, saying it has formulated the ideal environment for
tremendous prosperity for the nation.
He noted that the NGO movement is widely spread in the
Kenyan society and therefore called on those in authority to take caution not
to infringe on the NGO space.
President Kenyatta directed all county commissioners to work
closely with the NGO council in promoting the welfare of Kenyans, saying
partnership with government is ideal as it allows stakeholders to complement
“My government is committed to the spirit of our
constitutional dispensation. We are dedicated to uplifting the welfare of each
citizen, both materially and socio-politically.
"We want the people to enhance the spirit of public
participation in developing democratic governance frameworks,” President
Speaking at the function, Cabinet Secretary for Devolution
and Planning Anne Waiguru said the fruits of democracy enjoyed by Kenyans were
as a result of the NGO Co-ordination Act and therefore the importance of NGOs
in Kenya could not be overemphasized.
“The celebration of the new Constitution with separation of
powers between the Executive, Judiciary and the National Assembly, complete
with checks and balances, is as a result of the NGOs' (work),” she said.
Other speakers were the chief executive of the NGO Council,
Ms Kevin Loyatum, Nacada director Mohamed Fazul, the chairman of the NGO
Coordination Board, Joshua Ole Leparashau, and the chairman of the NGO Council,