Uhuru tells the young to grab leadership slots

Tuesday, December 8th, 2020 00:00 |
President Uhuru Kenyatta. Photo/PD/Kenna Claude

Bernard Gitau @benagitau

President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday  challenged the youth to take up leadership and not allow the minority shareholder to dictate their future.

Uhuru said leadership is grabbed not given and if youths are waiting to be given, it shall never be forthcoming.

The President spoke at the Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi yesterday, during the launch of Kenya ni Mimi campaign, an initiative launched by the Ministry of Information which is a series of dialogues on needs and opportunities for the youth.

 “The biggest shareholders of this Project Kenya are youths, who have not fully played their part, not only in taking ownership, but in managing and directing Kenya towards its rightful destination,” he said.

Said he: “Youths have been taken as voting machines, mimi hakuna kura natafuta so I can speak and tell you the way things are. It is high time you stop taking bribes and chart this nation’s way forward.”

Head of State reiterated he will leave office after 2022 General Election. He said his priority is to complete his development projects and leave a united country.  

“I am not keen on having too many changes in my administration because I am on the last days of my tenure. At the moment, my priority is to complete my projects,” he said.

 He also drummed up support for the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), urging the youths to support it as it holds their present and future.  

He said that due to chronic post-election violence witnessed every five years, together with ODM leader Raila Odinga, they agreed to dialogue through Hand shake that resulted in the BBI.

 “We cannot live in a perpetual cycle of election violence, to address this, winners take it all must end, exclusion of communities, youths, women must be achieved,” he said.

 He said the document has anchored youth agendas in law, highlighting the Youth Commission and others will be put in place in policy documents like tax holiday.  

A section of youths urged the President to consider appointing a Cabinet Secretary below the age of 35, but he said time was not on his side, he, however, said he will appeal to other regimes fulfilling it.

  On the perception of his administration militarising the public sector, Uhuru termed such news wild allegations, saying he admired military professionalism.

He said the first and principle role of any military in any nation is to defend the territorial boundaries and sovereignty.

 Meticulous work

 “But I have said in executing that mandate it is also possible for our military to be part and parcel of socio-economic development of a nation of empowering people and creating prosperity. I do not see those two as conflicting  issues,” he said.

 Though the President said civil servants do not welcome his admiration for the military, he said their efficiency, discipline and integrity is something they should emulate.

 He gave examples of meticulous work done by Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) starting with rehabilitation of Kisumu Port.

 After one of his visits,  the President said when he inquired about the budget of reviving it, an officer in-charge, gave him an ‘impossible budget’ amounting to billions of shillings as they were eyeing commission in return.

“A budget amounting to billions of shillings was given aimed at buying a new vessel to transport fuel to Uganda.

A dilapidated vessel lying idle at the facility I was told it was being sold as scrap metal,” he recalled. 

On engaging the military, the President said they rehabilitated the vessel at a cost of less than Sh 30 million.

 “The vessel is fully functional and in a space of five or six months of operation, it has delivered in excess of 35 million litres of fuel to Uganda from Kisumu.

Through KDF and NYS, the port is fully and now youths have been employed,” he said.

He also said his appointment of a military man to lead Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) was due to poor leadership exhibited by Governor Mike Sonko.

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