RADIO/TELEVISION ADDRESS TO THE NATION BY HIS EXCELLENCY HON. MWAI KIBAKI, C.G.H., M.P., PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA ON THE DISSOLUTION OF THE 9TH PARLIAMENT, 22ND OCTOBER, 2007
This morning, I signed into law eleven bills that were recently passed by the Ninth Parliament.
The new Acts of Parliament include the Finance Act, the Appropriations Act, the Political Parties Act, and the Constituency Development Fund (Amendment) Act among others. This concludes the business of the Ninth Parliament, which during its five-year mandate passed 67 bills, including several landmark laws and policies.
The Ninth Parliament was unique in many ways. For the first time in our nation's history, KANU was not the governing party in the House. More importantly, the incoming ruling party NARC ushered in coalition politics as a defining factor in Kenya's political landscape.
This form of politics is likely to be with us for many years to come. The management of coalition politics and government has been a major challenge during the Ninth Parliament, providing many lessons to be applied by future Parliaments and governing parties.
Nevertheless, coalition politics has contributed immensely towards expanding democratic freedoms, and advancing the politics of inclusion and accountability.
Happily, from the experience gained during this period, Parliament enacted a Political Parties Act aimed at instituting orderly management of party politics in the country.
There are many things that the Ninth Parliament will be remembered for, some positive, and others not so positive. I would like to leave the fuller picture of this Parliament to be evaluated by the media and historians in the days to come.
Today, I would prefer to dwell largely on the positive aspects of the outgoing Parliament. The Ninth Parliament will be remembered for instituting laws and policies that have tremendously improved the economic development and management of the country.
These include, the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), which is a landmark law and policy bringing equitable development to all parts of this country.
With regard to infrastructure, the Ninth Parliament passed several laws that will enable us to invest public resources more effectively and in a more focused manner. Among them, are laws establishing the urban, rural, and national highways authorities as well as the Rural Electrification Authority.
This Parliament also passed laws that streamlined the management of public finances and the financial sector, particularly with regard to public procurement, fiscal management, private investment, and the banking sector.
For the small businesses and informal sector, the House passed into law the Microfinance Act that will facilitate their growth and development.
The Ninth Parliament will also be remembered for legislating the most comprehensive legal and institutional framework to deal with corruption.
Among the landmark laws passed by the Ninth Parliament in this regard were the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act that established the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission, and the Public Officer Ethics Act that made it compulsory for public servants to declare their wealth.
However, an important matter that the Ninth Parliament was unable to deal with conclusively is giving Kenyans a new Constitution. Parliament and the country spent a lot time and resources on the constitutional review process. The business however remains uncompleted.
This will be a priority item for the next Parliament so as to put the matter of a new Constitution behind us.
Turning to social policy issues, the Ninth Parliament will be remembered for passing laws for the protection of women's and children's rights.
Indeed, the House passed the Children's Act as well as the Sexual Offences Act, both of which were seminal laws that have advanced the cause of the protection of children and women from violence and exploitation.
We have now come to the end of the life of the Ninth Parliament. Before concluding my remarks, I recall with deep regret some of our dear colleagues and friends in the Ninth Parliament who lost their lives under tragic circumstances while serving the people of Kenya faithfully.
We also remember those who died from natural causes.
Finally, and in exercise of the powers conferred upon me by Section 59(2) of the Constitution of Kenya, I hereby dissolve the Ninth Parliament of the Republic of Kenya with immediate effect.
I take this opportunity to wish all Honorable Members well as we return to our constituents to seek a new mandate. I also appeal to all political leaders and Kenyans in general to ensure that we have peaceful, free and fair general elections.
It is only through a fair and credible poll, free of violence and intimidation that the true verdict of the people will prevail.
Thank you and God bless You All
God Bless Kenya.