Kenya's defence force bids farewell to Kibaki
The Zimbabwe Mai
Saturday, March 23, 2013
Kenya's Defence Forces on Friday bid farewell to President Mwai Kibaki as the Commander in Chief as he edges closer to retirement.
President elect Uhuru Kenyatta on the other hand is said to be at advanced stages of unveiling his cabinet, if the Supreme Court clears his way following a petition challenging his declaration as winner of the country's Presidential polls.
It will be a colourful farewell parade for Mwai Kibaki, Kenya's third President and the politics of the day are still close to his heart after 10 years as Kenya's Commander in Chief .
"We recently held a general election and I call upon our men and women in uniform to work hand in hand with the leaders who have been elected to serve in various positions for the betterment of our nation," says Kibaki.
Kenya's Defence Forces on the other hand promising to steer clear of politics. "We shall tenaciously defend our core values of remaining purely apolitical subservient to the civil authority elected by the people of this country," says Kenya’s Chief of Forces, General Julius Karangi.
Kibaki has been involved in Kenya's politics for close to 50 years now serving both in the government and the opposition.
President Kibaki moved closer to handing over the reins of power even as Kenyans awaited a decision of the Supreme Court petition filed by Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
Odinga is challenging the electoral Commission's declaration of Uhuru Kenyatta as winner of the March 4th election. Should the petition fail, Uhuru will be sworn in on April 17.
"It has been a tremendous honour to serve as Commander in Chief of the Kenya Defence forces. I am proud of your achievements," he said during a farewell ceremony organised by the military at the Moi Air Base, Nairobi Friday.
"The Defence forces have been a beacon of hard work selflessness and devotion," he said.
President Kibaki thanked the KDF for its loyalty during his presidency.
"I thank you for your unwavering support of me for the last 10 years, I ask you to extend the same for the next leader," said President Kibaki.
He urged the military to "maintain the high level of discipline and dedication you are renowned for".
Chief of Defence Forces Julius Karangi said the military had been transformed under President Kibaki's leadership.
"The KDF has been transformed in many ways courtesy of your guidance and support," said General Karangi.
During the ceremony, KDF presented President Kibaki with a tractor, military uniform, memorabilia, four grade cows, a 24-piece dinner set, among other things.
It is during President Kibaki's reign that the KDF crossed the border to Somalia in pursuit of Al-Shabaab militia.