Dinah Ondari @dinahondari
President Uhuru Kenyatta will today deliver his first State-of-the-Nation address to Parliament since his re-election in October, last year.
He is expected to, among other things, elucidate on the much-publicised unity pact with Nasa leader Raila Odinga as well as the implementation of his ‘Big Four’ agenda.
The President, who will be addressing the 12th Parliament for the second time since its inception will also be expected to tell Kenyans what role Raila will play under the new unity deal whose details have been kept under wraps since the two leaders committed to working together on March on March 9.
Today’s address comes three days after the two named a 14-member team to steer the implementation of their unity deal.
The team comprising senior politicians, the clergy, elders, and academicians will spearhead the initiative dubbed Building Bridges to a New Kenyan Nation. However, again, no specific details have been given on the activities of the team. It is such details that the President’s allies and Kenyans in general now feel should be at the centre his speech today.
Yesterday, Senate Leader of Majority Kipchumba Murkomen said the Uhuru-Raila handshake could top his priority items in the address. “The President is likely to outline plans that he has for the realisation of thee ‘Big Four’ agenda. Kenyans can also expect to hear something about the handshake which has been widely discussed,” he said.
Majority Whip in the National Assembly, Benjamin Washiali,also outlined his expectations. “Of course the debate is likely to focus on the issues under the Big Four, which will define the President’s legacy,” he said. On the handshake, the Mumias East MP opined: “He (the President) may also want to tell us how to behave now that he has Raila on board.”
Washiali said Uhuru’s address may touch on flooding menace that has led to loss of lives and property. Under the Big Four, the President promised to focus on providing affordable housing, manufacturing and healthcare and food security in his second term.
Unlike his State-of-the-Nation address last March when Uhuru defended his development record in the first term, he will this time be expected to lay out plans for the country for next five years. Also expected in his speech is the state of security as well as the status of the economy.