President Mahama’s remarks to Uhuru Kenyatta during State Visit to Kenya

Mahama’s remarks to Kenyatta during a 3-day State Visit to Kenya.

Mahama and Uhuru Kenyatta toast

Mahama has applauded the ICC withdrawal of charges against Kenyatta

President John Mahama embarked on a 3-day State Visit to Kenya to celebrate the country’s 51st Independence Anniversary.

Below are the highlights of the remarks by President Mahama in response to a toast proposed by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.

  • President Mahama has applauded the International Criminal Court (ICC) withdrawal of charges against President Uhuru Kenyatta.
  • Kenyatta, 53, faced crimes against humanity charges at the ICC for his alleged role in violence following the 2007 elections, during which more than 1,000 people were killed.
  • Mahama called for increased cooperation and improved fraternal relations with Kenya
  • He acknowledged Kenyan businessman, industrialist and philanthropist, Dr. Chris Kirubi for his immense help to Ghanaians

Remarks by President Mahama in response to a toast proposed by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Your Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta;
First Lady Margeret Kenyetta, a very good friend of my wife, Lordina, who so wanted to be here today and sends her sincerest congratulations to you and the women of Kenya;

Deputy President William Ruto; Distinguished ladies and gentlemen;

I offer to you- from me, my delegation, and all the citizens of Ghana- our sincerest congratulations on the celebration of Kenya’s independence.

Our two nations, Kenya and Ghana, share a long and rich history, and I am excited to be here- indeed it is a privilege for me to be here- to rekindle the glow, the light, that led us and our people to freedom as sovereign nations.

Our founding fathers, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, shared a brotherhood that preceded and, ultimately, led to the liberation of our countries. Dr. Kwame Nkrumah once said, “We prefer self-government with danger to servitude in tranquility.”

And it is in the spirit of this daring determination of the African people to be the helmsmen and decision-makers in the course of their own destinies that I applaud the recent decision of the International Criminal Court to drop the charges that had been brought against you.

Indeed, it harkens back to those words by Dr. Nkrumah; but it also brings into clear focus other words, words spoken by Mzee Kenyatta, who said that while “our children may learn about the heroes of the past; the task is to make ourselves the architects of the future.”

As a student of history, the historical significance of this visit cannot be lost upon me. Your Excellency, you and I stand here as architects of a future that our forefathers could only imagine. You and I stand here as recipients of a legacy, as the privileged recipients of a tremendous responsibility.

We stand as collaborators, Presidents of two nations on the world stage, moving steadily into a middle-income status, and it is our duty to work towards the greater good of our peoples and our continent.

We have before us today, you and I, a number of issues that reflect our collective quest for a new African Renaissance: enhanced trade and economic activities, the commitment to peace and the growth of not only our individual countries and sub-regions but also of our entire continent and, perhaps most urgently, a commitment to the elimination of any activities that foment trouble, such as terrorism and war.

I wish, today, to also congratulate you and the Jubilee Government on the implementation, thus far, of your country’s new constitution.

I wish to also urge that we continue to put our people first in the implementation of this constitution and of all other decisions that stand in the interest of justice and peace and the continued freedom of this continent; a freedom for which so many of our forefathers and foremothers fought and paid the ultimate price.

It is important on a day such as today to be reminded that the fight for freedom is never in the past; the fight for freedom is never simply won or lost. Freedom has many frontiers and so, too, does the battle to attain it. Our respective forefathers began the initial battle for liberation as brothers. It brings me great inspiration and comfort to note that this fraternal bond has endured.

There are numerous examples of this to which I can point but, permit me please, to draw your attention to one individual who has devoted a great deal to ensuring the continuation of this solidarity—one of your great sons, who is now also a son of Ghana—Dr. Chris Kirubi. Dr. Kirubi is Ghana’s former honorary consul.

In that capacity, Dr. Kirubi has been of immense help to Ghanaian citizens and, moreover, to Ghanaian interests here in Kenya. He has helped our nations maintain an open channel of communication and cooperation, and for that I, and the citizen of Ghana are deeply grateful.

Your Excellency, William Shakespeare, the revered writer from England, the kingdom from which we are now celebrating Kenya’s freedom, once asked, “What’s in a name?”

I’m going to be brave enough, Your Excellency, to say that it is a question your father, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, a visionary who saw far into Kenya’s future, answered for you, and for the people of Kenya.
He said, “Many people may think that, ‘Now there is Uhuru; now I can see the sun of Freedom shining, richness will pour down like manna from Heaven.’ I tell you there will be nothing from Heaven. We must all work hard, with our hands, to save ourselves from poverty, ignorance, and disease.”

In conclusion, I would like to remind the people of Kenya, the people of Ghana and, indeed, all the citizens of Africa, to heed those wise words. Let us toast to enhanced cooperation and improved fraternal relations. Let us all remember that it is through our efforts, individually and collectively, that our countries thrive.

It is through our unity, our togetherness that our beloved Africa will continue to claim and enjoy freedom, prosperity, and the promise of an abundant future.

Asante Sana, Kenya. Asante Sana.

And I invite you to raise your glasses in a toast for continued good relations and Ghana-Kenya cooperation.

I look forward to welcoming Your Excellency and the First Lady in Accra soon.

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