What to expect from Uhuru’s State of the Nation address


President Uhuru Kenyatta during a past State of the Nation address. PHOTO| PSCU
President Uhuru Kenyatta during a past State of the Nation address. PHOTO| PSCU

In Summary

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta will on Wednesday, May 2 give his State of the Nation address before a joint Parliament sitting.
  • The President’s main focus in the Big Four Agenda is Universal Healthcare, followed by Manufacturing, Affordable Housing and Food Security.
  • But while the President’s speech will be expected to address cohesion and unity in the country, Kenyatta finds himself in a precarious position over the calls for a constitutional review.

President Uhuru Kenyatta will on Wednesday afternoon give his State of the Nation address before a joint Parliament sitting and, for his second and final term, his decision to dwell on the Big Four Agenda is expected to take center stage in the speech.

The President’s main focus in the Big Four Agenda is Universal Healthcare, followed by Manufacturing, Affordable Housing and Food Security, and while his last term has been described as a legacy term, his address will also take stock of the progress the government made in his first term in office.

In a recent statement to newsrooms, State House Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu said the address would touch on measures the President has taken, and the progress achieved in the realisation of national values, progress made in fulfilling Kenya’s international obligation, and the state of the nation’s security.

According to Governance Consultant Javas Bigambo, “Sustainable development is not possible without a nation that is peaceful, secure and progressive so for all those things to happen, the nation must be peaceful.”

An anxious nation also awaits details on the monumental Harambee House handshake etched on the Building Bridges Initiative, a pointer that it would feature in the address, coming hot on the heels of the Sunday naming of 14 advisers to the Secretariat, two months after the historic and surprise event.

But while the President’s speech will be expected to address cohesion and unity in the country, Kenyatta finds himself in a precarious position over the calls for a constitutional review.

Present and watching on the floor of the house will be his Deputy President, William Samoei Ruto, who is openly opposed to the talk of a Referendum.

“For William Ruto, he really has no cause to worry. All he should be concerned with is if Uhuru’s legacy is firm; if it is, and Jubilee stays together, I can tell you for free, Ruto will win that election in April when the candidates are being announced,” says political analyst Mark Bichachi.

“He will not want to cause jitters with his deputy so he will want to try his best to quell any fears and demonstrate that all is well and his commitment towards supporting William Ruto in 2022,” opines Bigambo.

A departure from the last address, President Kenyatta will be speaking to a more receptive audience following closing of ranks between Odinga and himself, hence spreading the camaraderie to a larger section of their legislators.

“His address should be one of consistency, he should be consistent around the Big Four, about the non-political gains around the handshake, he must commit himself again to a better society, and that is what he needs to keep saying and, in fact, I would pray he repeats his Jamhuri Day speech on the hunger of Kenyans and his focus to deliver on what Kenyans wanted,” adds Bichachi.

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Story By Jacque Maribe
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