CORD, Jubilee disagree on Uhuru’s address, Parliament drama

CORD, Jubilee disagree on Uhuru's address, Parliament drama

Legislators from CORD and Jubilee have expressed divergent views concerning President Uhuru Kenyatta’s State of the Nation address and the disruption that was witnessed Thursday afternoon.

In an interview with Citizen Digital, Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa said that while his religion does not allow him to disrespect those in leadership, the eight legislators had a right to act as they wish given the circumstance.

“Article 24 states that when the president speaks, people should be silent. The legislators are however within their right to express themselves as they wish,” said Wamalwa.

The Kiminini MP lauded the president for calling for unity and tolerance in the country saying Kenya is bigger than any individual.

He however faulted President Kenyatta for giving what he considered as a fictitious portrayal of the country’s state of affair.

“There are parts of the president’s speech that were factual and others that were fictitious. For instance, he erred in saying that hotels in Mombasa are fully booked,” he noted.

“We have also witnessed an increase in cases of corruption in the country and it was puzzling that President Kenyatta mentioned no strategy in place to deal with the vice.”

Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen however defended the president’s address saying the scorecard was a true reflection of the achievements that Jubilee government has attained in the past year.

“For me it is a good report card and now it is up to the people of to analyse the report card and give us their feedback ahead of the next elections.”

Commenting on the day’s drama, Murkomen said: “Parliament is a place of debate and the action by the MPs to heckle the President was disrespectful. It is worth noting that the MPs came from only two counties,” he said.

ODM Secretary General Ababu Namwamba said Kenyans were tired of empty talks and were eager for action on corruption, improvement of security and land reforms.

He said that issuance of title deeds was compromising land reforms noting that the government should look at the bigger picture of solving past land injustices.

“I have listened to the president but in his very own words, he will be judged not but what he says but what he does,” noted Ababu.

On his part, Funyula MP Paul Otuoma said the president’s speech was a replica of last year’s address saying challenges in the IEBC and EACC indicate stagnation in progress.

“We needed like 10,000km of tarmacking and yet the president has talked of 3,000km. The government has also moved to stop the expansion of JKIA thus raising suspicion on Jubilee’s dealings.”

“The president has indicated goodwill and a clear vision for the country but the bigger challenges seems to have been implementation.”

Otuoma also said the MPs who were ordered out of parliament had the right to picket, though using force to remove them seems unnecessary.

Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichungwa said the president’s speech shows progress with the government’s move to add 10,000 police officers next year a testimony of how well the government is doing.

“The Standing Orders are clear on the action that should be taken against those who disrupt State of the Nation address. Opiyo Wandayi will not step in Parliament until December so the people of Ugunja should brace themselves for a by-election.”

Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar said CORD will seat and discuss on the matter to identify where there was miscommunication.

He said the action by the eight legislators is a reflection of the anger within CORD on how the government is run.

“As CORD, we are generally dissatisfied with how the government is being run and the action today should not be used to create divisions within the coalition,” he said.

National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale also expressed his displeasure with the disruption calling on CORD to allow to be led if they want to lead the country.


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Story By Benjamin Wafula
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