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There will be peaceful transition, Matiang’i assures international community

There will be peaceful transition, Matiang’i assures international community

By Justus Karanja

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i (pictured centre) has assured the international community that there will be a smooth and peaceful transition after this year’s General Election.

Kenya is set to conduct a General Election on August 9 to elect President and Deputy, together with other legislative and county seats.

At the moment, the leading contenders for Presidency are ODM leader Raila Odinga and Deputy President William Ruto.

The two are yet to pick their running mates.

Speaking in Nairobi, Matiang’i said there are elaborate plans to ensure the relevant instruments of power will be handed over peacefully to whoever will form the next government.

He was speaking at the Serena Hotel in Nairobi during a briefing meeting of the Cabinet Committee on National Government development projects and development partners.

The meeting that was also used to appraise the partners on election preparedness was the first round-table gathering in two years after the routine briefings were disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

It was also used to brief on the security environment, post Covid-19 Economic Recovery Strategy, and the budget implications for the completion of priority projects.

Dr Matiang’i said enough security agencies will be mobilised to provide adequate support to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and the August 9 general election.

 More support will be provided to the electoral body if and when needed.

Today, we have given assurance to our partners that, as a country, we are ready to proceed and facilitate the IEBC to conduct the elections. The agencies that have got the constitutional mandate to facilitate the Commission during the elections are represented here,” he said.

Dr Matiang’i stressed that collaboration under the national multi-sectoral consultative forum chaired by the Chief Justice Martha Koome was essential in aligning critical stakeholders to deliver a credible poll.

He allayed concerns that the forum was usurping the role of the IEBC. “Whether the country will have a free and fair election is a question that only Mr Wafula Chebukati and the IEBC can answer. We are clear that is the mandate of the IEBC. Ours is to provide whatever support IEBC requires to get it done,” the CS said.

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Amb. Ukur Yatani said the country’s economy was on the rebound with projected average GDP growth of 7.5 per cent in the first quarter of this year.

He said the stimulus packages implemented by the Government to cushion the economy during the pandemic were bearing fruits with agriculture and the hospitality industries recording impressive growth.

Briefing the same meeting, ICT CS Joe Mucheru said the Government will respect the media space and will not shut down the internet.

We sadly note there is a lot of abuse of the media in the country and especially on social media. But we will not shut it down despite the provocation and temptation to do so,” Mucheru said.

French Ambassador to Kenya Aline Kuster-Menager, who is also the lead in convening the diplomatic corps said regular briefing sessions reinforced development partners’ confidence in the country as an ideal investment destination.

It is important for us partners as a group to interact very closely during this election times. It’ll help us better understand how the government is organizing itself to achieve its results and bring continuity to our processes,” she said.

The meeting also outlined interventions necessary to support sustainable development, including the mitigation of climate change.

It also emphasized the need for expeditious disbursement of funds to aid the implementation of development projects and programmes across the country.

The British High Commissioner, Jane Marriot, sought assurances that key foreign investments will not be negatively affected by election-related activities.

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