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President Barack Obama's
Message to the People of Kenya

Habari yako.  Over the years, I have been greatly moved by the warmth and spirit – the strength and resolve – of the Kenyan people. And I’ve been grateful for my connection to Kenya, and the way you’ve welcomed me and my family to your beautiful country – from my father’s village in Alego, to bustling Nairobi.

In my visits, I’ve seen your progress. Kenya has lifted people from poverty, built an emerging democracy and civil society, and sustained a spirit of hope in the face of great difficulty. After the turmoil of five years ago, you’ve worked to rebuild communities, reform institutions and pass a new constitution.

Now, Kenya must take the next step in March, with the first national elections under your new constitution.

We all know what makes for successful elections. Kenya must reject intimidation and violence, and allow a free and fair vote. Kenyans must resolve disputes in the courts, not in the streets. Above all, the people of Kenya must come together, before and after the election, to carry on the work of building your country.

The choice of who will lead Kenya is up to the Kenyan people. The United States does not endorse any candidate for office, but we do support an election that is peaceful and reflects the will of the people.

This election can be another milestone toward a truly democratic Kenya defined by the rule of law and strong institutions. If you take that step, and reject a path of violence and division, then Kenya can move forward towards prosperity and opportunity that unleashes the extraordinary talents of your people – especially young people. If you continue to move forward, you can build a just Kenya that rejects corruption, and respects the rights and dignity of all Kenyans.

This is a moment for the people of Kenya to come together, instead of tearing apart. If you do, you can show the world that you are not just members of a tribe or ethnic group, but citizens of a great and proud nation. I can’t imagine a better way to mark the 50th anniversary of Kenyan independence.  And I say to all of you who are willing to walk this path of progress—you will continue to have a strong friend and partner in the United States of America. Kwaheri

Swahili Subtitles

Rais Barack Obama
Risala kwa Wananchi wa Kenya

Habari yako.  Kwa miaka mingi, nimeguswa  na  ukarimu na moyo – nguvu na ukakamavu – wa watu wa Kenya.   Na ninashukuru kwa uhusiano wangu na Kenya, na jinsi mlivyonikaribisha mimi na familia yangu katika nchi yenu nzuri – kutoka Alego, kijiji cha baba yangu, mpaka Nairobi, mji wa harakati nyingi.

Katika ziara zangu, nimeona maendeleo yenu.  Kenya imenyanyua watu kutoka kwa umaskini, imejenga demokrasia inayoibuka na vyama vya kijamii, na kudumisha moyo ya matumaini palipo na changamoto nyingi. Baada ya msukosuko wa miaka mitano iliyopita, mmefanya bidii ya kujenga upya jamii, kufanya mageuzi kwenye taasisi na kupitisha katiba mpya.

Sasa, lazima Kenya ichukue hatua nyingine mwezi wa Machi, kwa uchaguzi wa kwanza wa kitaifa chini ya katiba yenu mpya.

Sisi sote tunajua kinachofanikisha uchaguzi.  Lazima Kenya ikatae vitisho na ghasia, na iruhusu kura huru na ya haki.  Lazima Wakenya wasuluhishe migogoro mahakamani, sio barabarani.  Na zaidi ya hayo, lazima wananchi wa Kenya waungane, kabla na baada ya uchaguzi, ili kuendelea na kazi ya kujenga taifa.

Chaguo la nani atakayeongoza Kenya ni juu ya wananchi wa Kenya.  Amerika haiidhinishi mgombea uchaguzi yeyote, lakini tunaunga mkono uchaguzi wa amani na ambao unaashiria matakwa ya wananchi.

Uchaguzi huu unaweza kuwa tukio jingine la ufanisi kwa nchi ya Kenya iliyo na demokrasia halisi na inayoendeshwa kwa utawala wa kisheria na taasisi zilizoimarika.  Mkichukua hatua hiyo, na kukataa mkondo wa ghasia na mgawanyiko, basi, Kenya inaweza kusonga mbele na kupata neema na nafasi zitakazokuza vipaji maalum vya wananchi wenu – hasa vijana.  Mkiendelea kusonga mbele, mnaweza kujenga Kenya inayosimamia usawa na inayokataa ufisadi, na huku ikiheshimu haki na hadhi ya Wakenya wote.

Huu ni wakati wa wananchi wa Kenya kuungana pamoja, badala ya kugawanyika.  Mkifanya hivyo, mnaonyesha dunia kwamba nyinyi si jamii ya kikabila tu, bali wananchi wa taifa kuu na lenye fahari.  Siwezi kufikiria njia bora ya kuadhimisha miaka 50 ya uhuru wa Kenya.  Na ninawaambia nyinyi nyote mlioridhika kufuata njia hii ya maendeleo – mtaendelea kuwa na rafiki na mshirika imara nchini Amerika.   Kwaheri.