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Statement by His Excellency Dr. Kipyego Cheluget, High Commissioner of the Republic of Kenya on 12th Dec. 2012 During the Reception to Commemorate the 49th Independence Anniversary of Kenya

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STATEMENT BY HIS EXCELLENCY DR. KIPYEGO CHELUGET, HIGH COMMISSIONER OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA ON 12TH DECEMBER 2012 DURING THE RECEPTION TO COMMEMORATE THE 49TH INDEPENDENCE ANNIVERSARY OF KENYA.

The Chief Guest Honourable  Davis Mwilu, Deputy Minister for Defence              
Honourable Ministers,  
Honourable Deputy Ministers,  
Honourable Members of Parliament,    
Leaders of Political Parties,         
The Permanent Secretaries,      
Your Excellencies Ambassadors and High Commissioners, Heads of International and Regional Organizations accredited to the Republic of Zambia,    
Senior Government Officials,    
Your Worship the Mayor of the City of Lusaka,  
Corporate Chiefs, the Business Community, representatives of Civil Society organizations,          
Members of the Press,
My dear fellow Kenyans,             
Distinguished Guests,   
Ladies and Gentlemen
,  

Ephraim and band are our special guests who will provide entertainment.
Ephraim Mutalange comes from a family of 6 and is the second last born. He started his gospel music career ten (10) years ago. He has done eight (8) albums inclusive of two(2) Swahili albums. He travelled to different countries spreading the word of God through music. For instance he performed in a concert attended by Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete in Dar es Salaam. He recently came back from the United States where he was ministering in different states. He has also performed in Australia, in London and many other countries. He is known as the son of Africa and Kenya has become his second home.

May I at the take this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude to you all for joining us in celebrating the 49th Independence Anniversary of the Republic of Kenya. Your acceptance of our invitation and your presence here speaks of your friendship not only with us at the Mission, but also with the people of Kenya. It therefore gives me great pleasure to say KARIBU (Welcome) to all of you.

Before  I go any further, I would to pay tribute to one of our colleagues who has left us. Ambassador Boris Malakhov of Russia, was a fantastic fellow. He was always jovial and cheerful, and I am very sure he would be with us here today, like he has done on many other previous. We condole with his dear wife, daughter and mother.               

Honourable Ministers, distinguished guests

Kenya joined the community of nations as an independent and sovereign state 49 years ago after shaking off the shackles of colonialism. We look back to our relatively short history as a sovereign State with a sense of pride since our freedom was not handed over to us on a silver platter. Recent documentation indicates that massive human rights were violated by the British forces, who attempted to suppress the aspiration of Kenya. Recent court action to rectify these historical injustices is ongoing.

Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen

As Kenya marks the 49th independence anniversary, we are happy that we are hitting our Jubilee on this day; 12-12-2012! It is only one nation in the world which will be celebrating this day which is 12th 12th 12th. This is auspicious as the number 12 appears in triplicate. Such a date as today’s only happens once in a century, therefore today is indeed a great day.

And for the Kenyans who were born in 1963, this is their 50th year of their life, symbolizing a new birth and fresh life thus calling for celebration. Hurrah to the Jubilee Children! And what a joy for those born on this particular day. They are the Uhuru children, beginning their 50th year.           

50 years ago today, a new dawn was ushered in by the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and other heroes. They dedicated themselves to eradicating three enemies of development in Kenya; namely Ignorance, Disease and poverty.    

Those of you who like figures may enjoy these comparisons.     

EDUCATION

0 was the number of Universities in Kenya compared to 32 today            

151 was the number of secondary schools compared to more than 7000 today  

HEALTH

8M was the population then compared to 40m today    
908 number of doctors compared to 7129            
46.5 years was the life expectancy compared to 64.2 today         

TRANSPORT

2219 kms of roads to today’s 8879 but rail declined from 7013km to 2219 km and cars increased from 100,000 to 1.4m today.  
15440 landings  and 600,000 passengers of aircraft  at Jomo Kenyatta international airport in 1966 compared to 80,000 in 2009 with 4.9m passengers    
0.95 cents was cost of a litre of petrol to shs 123 today    
sh 8 was the amount charged by white rose dry cleaners who are still in business today charge sh 990.  
These figures show at a glance the progress and challenges facing the nation.   

It is also opportune that in this Jubilee year, Kenya is headed for the first elections under the new constitutional dispensation scheduled to be held in 4th March, 2013 and hence it will be yet another new dawn for Kenyans.  There will be a new government and a new President. H.E. President Mwai Kibaki will end his political career, which covers the entire 50 years and having served for 10 years as Vice President and another 10 as President. He is credited for having steered the country through a period of great prosperity with his 2030 vision agenda.  Kenya attained a new constution under him and major infrastructure, projects took place. Oil exploration was intensified and super highways build, banking services and ICT development increased development. He proved to the world that the Kenya Defence Forces was a force to reckon with when it became the first African Defence force to stage an amphibious landing in Kismayu Somalia. Despite the PEV of 2008, Kenyan democratic space was increased tremendously under his watch. I am lucky to have worked for His Excellency. Take it from me, the elections next year will be peaceful.    

Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

At the Bilateral level, Kenya and Zambia have enjoyed a long history of friendly contacts.  Since the establishment of diplomatic ties soon after independence, the two countries have forged an all round friendly partnership as shown by frequent exchanges of high level visits, increasing bilateral trade, economic, cultural, and sports exchanges and mutual support in international affairs.  The closeness of our relationship is also reflected in people to people exchanges.  It is in our interest to strengthen these ties for the mutual benefit of our people.   

Kenya and Zambia cooperate in a wide range of sectors within the framework of the agreement establishing a Joint Permanent Commission for Cooperation (JPCC) which was signed by the Heads of State of the two countries in 1982. The Joint Permanent Commission has the mandate of planning and implementing programmes of cooperation for the mutual benefit of the two countries. The 8th Session of the JPCC between Kenya and Zambia was held in Lusaka from 7th-9th March 2012. The discussions cut across several sectors including trade, industry and investment, tourism, mining, labour, health, environment and natural resources, immigration, transport and communications, water resources, energy, agriculture and livestock, education, labour and justice.            

Trade between the two countries has continued to grow over the years as they continue to work on resolving the remaining NTBs. This  can be attributed to the expansion and strengthening of the bilateral ties and the establishment of the COMESA Free Trade Area. Kenya will work deligently towards the achievement of the goals of the COMESA-SADC-EAC tripartite trading arrangements.             

Kenya will continue to participate at the Zambia International Trade Fair (Ndola) and the Zambia Agricultural and Commercial Show(Lusaka) with the aim of introducing more products to the Zambian Market. I therefore urge Zambian business community to participate in the Nairobi and Mombasa International Trade Fairs which take place annually.             

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen

In conclusion, please allow me to make this announcement, in front of H.E. Mr. David Bandawe High Commissioner of Malawi and the ambassador of the USA to Zambia Mr. Mark Storella. Their Execellencies share an important factor with me. We all presented our credentials on that sunny morning of September 22, 2010 at state house Lusaka. We are also very good friends. I am their senior by perhaps a few minutes. Early in the year, 2013, God willing, I shall be taking up an appointment with COMESA as Asst. Secretary General for programmes and thus joining colleagues who are here today, Amb. Nagla El Husseiny and Mr. Sindiso Ngwenya, to help them uplift the good work they are doing in COMESA. I am greatly humbled by this gesture, and also happy that I shall be in Zambia, to enjoy the great hospitality of this great country and do not have to say good bye to all my friends and colleagues. I thank you for the support I got and look forward to continue working with you, but in a slightly different capacity. I have requested the Dean and High Commissioner of Botswana, H.E.Madam Tuelonyana Ditlabi Oliphant to continue to invite me to  the meetings of the diplomatic corp. I thank all my Zambia friends and colleagues for making my work here such a joy.                 

I wish to thank Pembe Millers , Davis and Shirtliff, Kobil and the Intercontinental Hotels for helping us make this day such a success.

I also take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.           

Kindly join me in raising your glasses as we toast to the good health of H.E President Michael Sata, President of the Republic of Zambia, and for the continued good relations and prosperity of the people of Kenya and Zambia and to health of our Guest of Honour Hon Davis Mwilu and to all of us gathered here this evening.       


Cheers!!!

May Almighty God bless us all.