President Uhuru Kenyatta to deliver the State of the Nation Address. After months of ugly spats over the war on corruption and the handshake, all eyes are now on President Uhuru Kenyatta as he delivers the State of the Nation Address on Thursday before an anxious Parliament. While his newfound allies led by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s want him to sink his fangs deeper in the purge against graft, the Deputy President’s Ruto’s allies want him to unite a divided political leadership.At stake is the President’s agenda for the country, his handshake deal with Raila and the unity of his ruling Jubilee coalition. Investigations against Cabinet Secretaries alleged dabbling in corruption are also expected to feature.Will the President walk the talk and table another addendum ‘list of shame’ as was the case in 2015 or will he strike a conciliatory tone and continue to shoulder the baggage of corruption perception?
“I hope that he will rally the country to unite and forget about divisive politics that have perennially brought instability in Kenya,” National Assembly Leader of Majority Aden Duale (Garissa Town) told the Sunday Standard yesterday.Mr Dula said the President will also be expected to set the tone for the legislative agenda for the next financial year and rally Parliament towards Big Four agenda.“We have completed the legislative process in setting the motion for the President’s priority projects. In his speech we hope to get his guidance on where we need to make more laws to ensure that he achieves his legacy projects,” said Duale.National Assembly Minority Leader John Mbadi (Suba South) said on top of the insecurity, the President should come out strong on corruption.“Those who have been adversely mentioned in corruption cases should make way as the President assures Kenyans that the DCI and DPP who have constantly come under attack from his deputy and his brigade have his full support,” he said.
He hopes the President will address the mysterious murders of Kenyans that have become common. Mr Mbadi cited killings of women and bodies recovered daily from various parts of the country.“I look forward to the President taking about the Kenya Defense Forces continued stay in Somalia, the exit strategy, the terror attack on Kenya like the Dusit attack and the Migingo Island row, now that the Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has come closer,” he said.He wants the President to declare the progress of the Building Bridges Initiative and his position on the referendum to amend the Constitution. Jubilee Chief Whip Ben Washiali was optimistic that the President will touch on corruption but warned against naming CSs implicated in graft without conclusive evidence like he did in 2015. In that address, five CS’s Charity Ngilu, Felix Kosgei, Michael Kamau, Davis Chirchir and Kambi Kazungu tumbled on appearing in the President’s list. “We want him to be guided by a informed process before he can ask those he names to step aside,” said Mr Washiali.He expects the president to suggest Bills to the House for changes as he seeks to have the Big Four Agenda priority projects implemented.Convicted immediately
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“The building of a legacy is an important process and the Big Four Agenda projects offer him something to take home for a name,” said WashialiNational Security and Administration committee chair Paul Koinange (Kiambaa) and his Public Account Committee (PAC) want to see heads rolling over corruption.“We need to get serious about corruption because Wanjiku is not happy. Petty offenders are arrested and convicted immediately while high profile corruption cases drag, it’s like a mockery to them,“ lamented Koinange.He said leaders are hypocrites and dishonest and that is whythose mentioned in corruption cases are still in office, and wants the President to address the issue. “Those mentioned should not wait for the President to send them home. They should voluntarily do so. We have had very high profile cases no arrests. It’s only that the House is going on short recess, we had planned to summon the DCI on grounds of delaying arrests,” he disclosed.Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi hopes the State of Nation Addresswill give the fight against corruption new impetus even as it cements further the spirit of the handshake.
“We are looking forward to the address with unprecedented expectations. It is coming at a defining moment when the fight against corruption has finally taken shape,” said Mr Wandayi.Senate Minority Whip Mutula Kilonzo said the president should tell Kenyans what he plans to do with his Cabinet on matters graft.He also cited sustainable borrowing, especially for the Standard Gauge Railway phase three that is expected to cost over Sh350 billion.