Kibaki tells displaced people to go back home
Published on March 13, 2008, 12:00 am
By Patrick Mathangani
President Kibaki has asked people displaced by post-election violence to return to their homes. He said the violence that rocked the country was a thing of the past.
“Don’t fear going back. Such things happen in the world, but they should not deter you,” he said. The President urged the displaced not to listen to propaganda by people saying it was not safe to return to their homes. But the President did not comment on the security situation, which most of those displaced say must be guaranteed before they can return to their homes.
The President was speaking in Othaya where he attended the burial of a former senior chief, Moses Mukira, in Chinga Location. The President urged Kenyans to live in unity and help those in need, including people affected by the post-election chaos.
More than 350,000 people were uprooted from their homes and more than 1,000 killed in the violence that followed the disputed presidential elections. Many of them are sheltering in camps. However, a power sharing deal to end the violence was signed two weeks ago between Kibaki and Mr Raila Odinga.
Reports indicate that many displaced people are wary of returning to their homes and have petitioned the Government to assure them of security. Kibaki said good planning and investment in education would raise Kenya from poverty and earn respect internationally.
“We want Kenya to be a leader in Africa. When you travel in Africa and find many Kenyans who are doing well, you feel good,” he said. Kibaki said the resolve of the people had proved that what appeared impossible could be achieved and cited free schooling.
He recalled that during the 2002 presidential campaign, some politicians campaigned against it and said it could not be achieved. Kibaki said free schooling, extended this year to subsidised education in secondary schools, would be boosted to ensure all children get an education.
The President said children of poor parents should not be locked out of school. He asked Kenyans to pay taxes so that the Government could get enough funds to improve their lives.
Kibaki added that they would soon catch up with those evading tax. “Don’t thank God if you have escaped paying tax. These days, we’re working hard to ensure everyone pays up,” he said. Kibaki moved the mourners when he recalled the accident he was involved in 2002. He broke a leg and was sworn in on a wheel chair.