The Kenyan Diaspora residing in Maryland and surrounding states on Saturday, October 14th held a rally in support of the Jubilee Party government.
The event was also billed as a prayer rally for peace in Kenya. Speaker after speaker at the event asked for Kenyans to maintain peace and unity as the country gears to the October 26th repeat presidential election. “This is a prayer meeting first and foremost. It is a prayer for peace,” said Karanja Mwaura, the Master of Ceremony at the event.
Kiguru Kimani, who immigrated to the US 27 years ago, highlighted the various major achievements of the Jubilee government in its first term in office. Among the achievements are the launching of the SGR Madaraka Express which has cut the travel time between Nairobi and Mombasa by train from 12 hours to 4.5 hours, launching a new container terminal at the Port of Mombasa, and the launching of Huduma Centers that have taken government services closer to the mwananchi.
Comfort Mwangi, an educator, urged the National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition to respect the various government institutions and to stop dividing the country. She asked NASA leader Raila Odinga to declare his clear intent on whether he intends to contest in the repeat election, adding that he has publicly announced he will not be contesting the election but has refused to officially withdraw by not signing the statutory Form 24A. Mwangi said the various mixed messages being sent by the coalition, as well as the ongoing demonstrations in various cities have created a state of anxiety in the country that is affecting both the economy and the unity among Kenyans.
Vincent Mongare, an entrepreneur in Baltimore said the Jubilee government has brought a lot of development in his native Nyamira County, and that this was evidenced in the high number of votes President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruth received in that county in the August 8th elections.
Julie Weche, an educator and proprietor of Elimu Tutoring and Training Center in Baltimore, highlighted the progress that has been made in the education center. She particularly pointed out the increase in the number of public universities from 4 during her times at Kenyatta University to the 25 current public universities currently and several more private universities. She said this has given a lot more Kenyans across the country access to higher education, coupled with the HELB loans provided to students . She also credited the government in its commitment to provide free education up to the high school level. Additionally, she credited Education Cabinet Secretary Fred for the reforms he has introduced in the education ministry, and in particular taming cheating in national examinations.
Geoffrey Kinyanjui, an entrepreneur and owner of African Flavors and a resident of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, said the Jubilee government has made the country business friendly both locally and internationally. He pointed out at agreements between the Kenyan government under the leadership President Uhuru Kenyatta and the US government that have it easier for Kenyan products to be exported to the United States.
Bishop Robert Lumbasi of the Life Source International Church - Kenya, prayed for peace in the country. Having witnessed first-hand the 2007/2008 post election violence that occurred in the Rift Valley, Bishop Lumbasi said he would not like a such a situation to recur and urged leaders to ask their supporters to remain peaceful. He also encouraged the Diaspora to remain in touch with their motherland and participate in the running of the country in various ways including running for office.