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President William Samoei Ruto has reiterated his commitment to fostering inclusivity and protecting the rights of ethnic minorities and marginalized communities in the country. The president’s remarks were conveyed by the Prime Cabinet Secretary and Cabinet Secretary for Foreign and Diaspora Affairs, Dr. Musalia Mudavadi during the International Day for minority rights at the Bomas of Kenya.

The President’s address marked the first official celebration of this significant day in Kenya’s history, aligning the nation with global efforts to safeguard the rights of minority groups. Through Dr. Mudavadi, the President commenced the discourse by highlighting the significance of the UN Declaration on Minority Rights, adopted on December 18, 1992.

“This day has been marked internationally for the last 30 years, yet it is only today that Kenya is joining the community of nations to mark this significant day officially,” remarked President Ruto.

The theme for this inaugural celebration, “Recognizing, Empowering, and Protecting the Rights of Minorities and the Marginalized,” resonates with Kenya’s commitment to unity in diversity. President Ruto’s vision, encapsulated in the preamble of our Constitution, emphasizes values of human rights, equality, freedom, democracy, social justice, and the rule of law.

“Article 56 of our Constitution is particularly instructive on the steps, including affirmative action measures, that the State ought to take,” noted the President through Dr. Mudavadi.

This constitutional provision outlines the imperative for the State to ensure minorities’ participation in governance, educational and economic opportunities, employment access, cultural preservation, and basic services. President Ruto, a firm believer in the promise of the Constitution, emphasized his dedication to the cause of minorities.

President Ruto said, “In me, you the leadership and members of the ethnic minorities and marginalized communities have a friend and a partner in your quest for space and recognition.”

The PCS said the President’s legacy of action speaks volumes adding that during his tenure as Deputy President, he established a technical department for Minority and Marginalized Communities’ Affairs and championed affirmative action measures in the public service.

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As President, he continued this commitment by appointing members of minority groups to high-ranking positions. To institutionalize support, President Ruto unveiled the Minorities and Marginalized Affairs Unit under the Presidency through Executive Order Number 2 of 2023. This unit aims to spearhead the recognition, promotion, and protection of the rights of ethnic minorities and marginalized communities.

As the President asserted, “Our intelligence service remains alert and laser-focused at all times. Not even an inch of Kenya shall be surrendered to criminal elements.”

This commitment extends to addressing historical land injustices, mitigating the effects of climate change on minority communities, and ensuring security in banditry-prone areas. The President, through Dr. Mudavadi, concluded by pledging to establish a task force to review government policies affecting minorities comprehensively.

“It is expected that this task force shall come up with various recommendations, including the policy, legal, and institutional frameworks necessary to drive affirmative action programs,” he stated.

President Ruto’s vision for a “Kenya ya Usawa,” where every citizen feels they belong, is a call to action for all Kenyans. The inaugural celebration of International Minority Rights Day is a historic step towards Kenya’s more inclusive and equitable future. The President has directed that the celebrations be held annually from next year

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