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Uhuru delivers his second last State of the Nation Address today

NATIONAL
By Jacob Ng'etich and Roselyne Obala | November 30th 2021

President Uhuru Kenyatta inspects a parade mounted by Administration Police officers at their training School at Embakasi during pass-out on November 29, 2021. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

Expectations are high as President Uhuru Kenyatta today delivers his second-last State of the Nation Address as dictated by the Constitution of Kenya. 

His address comes at a time when the country is grappling with the effects of the global COVID 19 pandemic, ailing economy, election campaigns hitting fever-pitched and the courts putting breaks on the push to amend the Constitution through the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).

The Head of State is expected to bring the country up to speed with his administration’s obligation commitments as provided for in Article 132 of the constitution in his 8th Address to Parliament.

In a joint sitting of the National Assembly and Senate, Kenyatta will give a report on the measures taken and the progress achieved in the realization of our National Values in line with the Constitution, as well as a report on the progress made in fulfilling the international obligations of our Republic and the State of our national security.

Yesterday former Majority leader and Garissa Town MP Aden Duale said that Uhuru had the opportunity to tell parliament and Kenyans his legacy for 10years and had an opportunity to tell his story.

"This is an opportunity for Mr Kenyatta to tell his story, next year, he will not likely have enough quorum, he should also assure Kenyans that he will oversee free, fair, credible and peaceful election and that he will hand over power according to the transition with the constitution," said Uhuru.

Duale said the president should not take that time to bring up issues of BBI 'nonsense' and 'the fake handshakes' that brought down Jubilee Party and stopped the Big Four Agenda.

"We will wish him well in the remaining time and a happy retirement thereafter, we expect the address to have his story for the time he has been president," said Duale.

The address Uhuru expected to report on all the measures taken and the progress achieved in the realization of the national values, referred to in Article 10.

Nominated MP Godfrey Osotsi said that he expected the president tell Kenyans what plans he has post covid 19 on ensuring the economy that was worse hit by the pandemic is recovered.

"We have seen that the number of infections have gone down, the president now needs to outline measures he will putting in place to have an economic turnaround," said Osotsi.

The public debt and election preparedness Osotsi said were also key issues that Uhuru must outline alongside the status of the fight against corruption.

Jubilee Coalition joint Parliamentary Group Secretary and Eldas MP Adan Keynan said this year's State of the Nation address provides the head of state the best opportunity to sum up not just the measures he's undertaken to fulfill the constitutional values.

Keynan said it also addresses current teething challenges facing the nation that prevent millions of Kenyans from fully enjoying benefits of the said chapter 10 values.

 "My people (Asal regions) will particularly be keen to hear from the President the progress of the drought mitigation measures instituted by the state, and long-term solutions to the perennial problem that has put hundreds of thousands of lives and their livelihoods at the risk of death," said Keynan.

Keynan added that with Kenya's notable footprints in peace and stabilization of the troubled horn of Africa -- such as through deployment of troops to Somalia -- the president should brief the country on diplomatic efforts the state had instituted in the troubled Sudan and war-stricken Ethiopia.

"Kenya has been an enviable regional peace, security and diplomatic hub, and the president needs to tell Kenyans measures he has put in place in to guarantee Kenyans of their security in the wake of these conflicts, and diplomatic efforts he is pursuing in both countries," said Keynan.

National Assembly deputy minority leader and Kathiani MP Robert Mbui said Uhuru needs to tell Kenyans not to let down their guard, let us not get careless so that we can ensure the positivity rate is maintained low

"As the country gears towards a hotly contested 2022 General Election, President Kenyatta will also be confronted with the task of assuring the nation of stability post his tenure as Kenya woes investors in efforts to resuscitate the economy from the effects of Covid 19,” said Mbui.

Ndia MP George Kariuki said Uhuru assure the nation that he will be apolitical and will not take sides and will not use state resource and give the presidential contenders an undue advantage.

"He also needs to come up with a policy on recovery on covid 19 and over taxation, the public debt is a debate we need to a measure of reducing or avoiding the ballooning debt, he should also address the issues of youth unemployment," said Kariuki. 

Kariuki said he needs to address the issues of agriculture which was no longer attractive and ensure that farmers have profitability and ensure that farmers are getting better prices for their produce. 

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