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Uhuru to fight terrorism

10 April 2013, 10:43 Maria Macharia and Omondi Oloo

Nairobi -  Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, the son of Kenya’s founding President Jomo Kenyatta, has taken over the levers of power, promising to fight terrorism and the illegal drugs trade in East Africa. 

Kenyatta, who took the oath for the office his father occupied at independence in 1963, said his administration will invest heavily in the security of Kenyan citizens and its neighbours. 

Kenya has been a conduit for illegal arms trade involving Somalia warlords and drug barons capitalising on security lapses at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi, and the port of Mombasa. 

The President said: “Kenya will no longer be a safe haven for drug peddlers. We will embrace the rule of law at whatever cost.”  In his inaugural speech delivered soon after his swearing in at the Moi Sports Complex in Nairobi this afternoon, Kenyatta, 51, also promised to fully enforce Kenya’s new constitution. 

Some of his closest allies had rejected the new Constitution at the referendum on August 4 2010, fuelling fears that his administration would sabotage implementation of the new laws. 

At a ceremony witnessed by South African President Jacob Zuma, Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe and several other African heads of state, Kenyatta also challenged the west to respect his country’s sovereignty. 

“Kenya is a democracy and as President, I will respect this cardinal principal. We demand respect for our sovereignty and equality of all nations,” Kenyatta told the packed stadium as he took over the mantle from outgoing President Mwai Kibaki. 

In a veiled attack on Europe and the US, Kenyatta said Kenyans had realised their  African dream by voting for him and his deputy in the election. 

The new leader said his administration will respect the role of opposition parties in the National Assembly and the Senate and that his Cabinet, which he is expected to name on Wednesday, will reflect the face of Kenya in terms of ethnic composition. 

Kenyatta promised to address parliament on April 16 during which he would lay bare his development agenda for Kenya in the first 100 days of his administration. 

He promised to continue working closely with the international community but made no reference to the crimes against humanity charges he faces at the International Criminal Court in relation to the 2007 election violence in Kenya. 

- CAJ News

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