Belgut MP Nelson Koech. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Legislators from across the political divide have elicited mixed reactions following President William Ruto’s first State of the Nation address on Thursday.

A section of the Members of Parliament felt that the Head of State was driving the economy towards a recovery path owing to a number of interventions.

Belgut MP Nelson Koech lauded the President for his achievements in Universal Health Care and the Hustler Fund.

“As the Defense Committee chair, I was particularly impressed by his resolve that 80 per cent of our forces are henceforth going to be employed from the National Youth Service (NYS). There are however some challenges that the president appreciated such as the distribution of fertilizer and that there is still a lot to be done in terms of unemployment,” said Koech.

Dagoretti South MP John Kiarie commended President Ruto for giving priority to technological advancement in the country with 100,000 kilometers of fiber optic and the construction of digital hubs across the country.

Saku MP Dido Rasso welcomed Ruto's pledge to improve security in the North Eastern region to spur economic development.

Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei praised the President's speech saying he had assured Kenyans that National Dialogue is about legislation and policy and not the handshake.

“The President has done a lot considering the global challenges being faced. He should now address the high cases of unemployment among the youths in the country as one of his priority measures to end poverty in the country,” said Kirinyaga Woman Rep Njeri Maina.

However, other lawmakers said the high cost of living, increase in taxes and prices of fuel were a blot on the Kenya Kwanza administration.

Nominated MP Irine Mayaka sought to know why despite the numerous successes listed by the President Thursday, the cost of living was still skyrocketing.

Ms Mayaka said the newly introduced charges for passport and ID card were a blow to the already struggling population.

“How does this government expect Kenyans to pay Sh1,000 for an ID yet the service has been free since independence? This is a pointer to a worrying future,” she said.

Mandera South MP Abdul Haro faulted the President for failure to address the floods currently ravaging northern Kenya.

“I expected that President Ruto to outline measures his administration has taken to assist Kenyans affected by the floods but he didn’t. Many have lost their sources of livelihood and no one is coming to their rescue,” said Haro.

Kitutu Chache South MP Anthony Kibagendi said: “The President needs to be aware that Kenyans are weighed down by the high cost of living. He needs to understand that increasing taxation is a measure only serving to make life difficult for citizens.”

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