For the first time in our history, we celebrate Madaraka Day away from each other and without the usual physical ceremonies. That is how much COVID-19 has changed our country and turned our lives upside down.
Under these very unique circumstances, I take this opportunity to wish all our citizens and friends of Kenya a very happy and rewarding Madaraka Day.
I salute our dedicated health workers who have risked their lives to lead the battle against COVID-19 from the front and made all the difference with regard to saving lives.
I salute the dedicated civil servants particularly in the Ministry of health who continue giving their all to keep us informed and safe by analysing the trends and providing us with accurate information on where we are and what we need to do as a nation to win the battle.
I particularly want to thank the Cabinet Secretary for Health Hon. Mutahi Kagwe for leading the team in the ministry in such a gallant struggle.
More importantly, I salute our citizens who have taken personal responsibility in the battle against the pandemic in addition to following government guidelines on how to defeat Coronavirus.
In this war, on this unique Madaraka Day, you, the health workers, the dedicated civil servants and the obedient citizens are my heroes.
As a country, we have done well. We have fought a good fight. We have shown the world that what other nations can do, Kenya can do even better.
I would also like to thank His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta for mobilizing the nation to stand firm against this pandemic.
But there is room for improvement. There is room for more personal responsibility and more cooperation with the Government.
Fellow Kenyans, every struggle requires that we make sacrifices and forgo the comforts we are used to if we are to win. Freedom fighters endured starvation in the forests, torture in detention camps and indignity in prison to make Freedom and Madaraka Day possible. If our parents resorted to excuses, chose easy life and lamented rather than fight, Madaraka would not have come when it did.
Today, more than ever, we need to embrace the sacrifices of our parents.
On this day, under these unique circumstances, let us reflect on patriotism, sacrifice, personal responsibility, dignity of our people and respect for our nation as the goals in our battle against a disease that is determined to colonize us and turn our lives upside down.
These ideals are going to be critical not only as we battle COVID-19 but also in the gigantic task of reconstructing and rebuilding our nation.
We know that most Kenyans have been adversely affected. Jobs have been lost, homes have been washed away by the floods and locusts are ravaging parts of our country. We are going through a treble tragedy. But we also know that the Kenyan resilience and the mood to fight will eventually triumph over this tragedy.
We need to work together as one people and one nation so that we can rise again, as a nation.
By embracing these ideals, we shall all be heroes when this battle is over and won.
God Bless you.
God Bless Kenya.
H.E. RAILA ODINGA, EGH
JUNE 1, 2020.