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Kenyatta commends NGO's

01 August 2014, 19:14 PSCU

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 one another.

“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 Kenyatta said.

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, Wilson Kipkazi.


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