NAIROBI - President Paul Kagame was in Nairobi yesterday to witness the official ceremonies to mark the promulgation of Kenya’s new Constitution.
Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki signed the constitution into law before a gathering of over 60,000 Kenyans who converged at Uhuru Park for the historic event.
“Today is a great day for Kenya,” said Kibaki, who took a new oath of office after signing the new charter into law. “This is the most important day in the history of our nation since independence”.
Kibaki then held aloft a bound copy of the new constitution and executed a slow pirouette to show it off to the excited crowd and assembled African dignitaries, as the Kenyan flag was raised on a high raised pole with Kenya’s court of arms on top.
The new constitution was voted in a referendum held on August 4 and is seen by many as the “birth of a second Republic”. Today’s ceremony was marked by a military and civilian parade as well as a 21-gun salute.
Other Heads of State and dignitaries present at yesterday celebrations included Presidents Omar Bashir of Sudan, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Mohamed Sambi of Comoros and Abeid Karume of Zanzibar.
Former Presidents Benjamin Mkapa, Olesugun Obasanjo, John Kufuor as well the Chair of the AU Commission Jean Ping, and former UNSG, Koffi Annan, also attended the ceremony.
In an article published in yesterday’s Daily Nation, President Kagame congratulated the leadership and people of Kenya on their achievement pointing out that Rwanda remains a strong partner of the East African nation.
“We in Rwanda have never wavered in our faith regarding the ability of our Kenyan brothers and sisters to stand up to their challenges” and pledged that “as partners in the East African Community, we shall walk this journey together”.