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Uhuru tells off ICC over prayer meetings

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Uhuru-StrathmorePresident Uhuru Kenyatta has told the International Criminal Court (ICC) to respect the right of Kenyans to hold prayer meetings.

The President said Kenyans understand the benefit and strength of prayers and would not be intimidated or gagged by the president of the ICC Trial Chamber, Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji, or anybody else.

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President Kenyatta was addressing the nation from Nyayo National Stadium during this year’s Mashujaa Day.

“Worship is the basic right of every human being; we have the freedom of worship in this country hence nobody can discourage us from holding prayer meetings. We will continue praying for one another,” said the President.

The President asked friendly countries to support Kenya and its leadership in their efforts to reconcile and unite the country.

Kenyan leaders have been praying for Deputy President William Ruto and former radio presenter Joshua arap Sang, who are facing charges at the ICC.

MEDIA BILL

On the controversial media Bill, President Kenyatta urged the National Assembly to ensure that the constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech and media are not infringed, by reviewing the offending sections.

“Let the media operate freely. Do not fear the media as they exercise the freedom of expression as guaranteed in the Constitution,” he said.

The Head of State said digital migration had lead to a rise in the number of TV stations to 55 this year from 14 in 2013, while radio stations increased to 126 from 108 in the same period.

President Kenyatta also highlighted the various achievements of the Jubilee government in all sectors for the last three years it has been in office.

He said the government has in the last three years issued 2.3 million title deeds compared with 5.6 million issued since independence to 2013.

To enhance the quality of services, the President said more than 40 Huduma Centres have been established across the country, serving more than 5 million Kenyans who previously would have had to travel long distances for the services.

PROUD OF ITS ACHIEVEMENT
On devolution, the Head of State said the Jubilee administration has been responsible for the implementation of a whole new constitutional dispensation and is proud of the achievement.

“Devolution may not be working perfectly, but it exists and it is the duty of every Kenyan to make sure it succeeds. Less noise more work,” he added.

The President said the standard gauge railway, which is 55 per cent complete, would be extended to Naivasha.

Deputy President William Ruto urged Kenyans to rise above petty politics and work together for the sake of peace and harmonious co-existence in the country.

“Going to the future, let us promote oneness as we focus on the great opportunities existing in the country,” Mr Ruto said.

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, the country’s heroes and heroines, foreign envoys, senior government officials and citizens from all walks of life graced the occasion.

Later, the President and the First Lady hosted a colourful Mashujaa Day garden party for invited guests at State House, Nairobi.

-nation.co.ke

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