ed http://decarbon.uk.com/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-filesystem-direct.php geneva; font-size: small;”>Speaking to more than 700 Kenyans living in Botswana at Fairground Holdings Pavilion in Gaborone on Wednesday, Uhuru observed: “We are re-directing our diplomacy to the African frontier. If we work together as Governments to remove visible and invisible barriers that hold back goods, services and people, Africa will go far. This is being done in the East African region and will be so in Africa”.
The President said governments should be facilitators, not obstacles, to the movement of people, goods and services.
He disclosed that East Africa was showing the way and from January next year, people would only need an identity card, not passport, to enter Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.
“My vision is to reconnect with African leaders so that 50 per cent of the business we do is with Africa,” he said.
The 50 years celebration since independence, the President said, should be the beginning of a rebirth to ensure Kenya, the region and the continent take their place in the community of nations.
He said the Kenyan Diaspora all over the world plays a critical role in national development.
The President said a diaspora policy was being formulated so that Kenyans abroad can be involved in development at home, including financial instruments that will help open up big development contract to all Kenyans.
Uhuru said the annual ambassadors’ conference in which the Government invites its envoys all over the world to Kenya, will change so that they bring with them representatives of the diaspora.
“This will help the Government tap the ideas of the diaspora in national policies,” said the President.
On national unity, he said time has come for Kenyans to forget the myopic and petty issues such as tribalism and adopt a new mindset.
“We can’t live in the past. Politics is about selling ideas and once the people have made their choice, then we all come together”, he said.
The President said the diversity in Kenya is a strength, and not a weakness.
On corruption, he said those who are sacked from Government employment should not try to pull their communities with them.
“You weren’t stealing for your community. You have been sacked because you are a thief!” he said.
Responding to Kenyans’ concerns over “Kenya Airways circuitous route that makes the flights home expensive”, the President said he would talk to the airline’s chief executive Titus Naikuni to rectify what, in President Kenyatta’s words, “appears ridiculous”.
The Kenyans also complained over the eight-year rule on used vehicles, saying the regulation prevents them from taking their cars home though they are “equivalent to Kenyans’ at home who have older cars”. The President said the matter would also be looked into and rectified.