President Uhuru Kenyatta will on November 5 deliver this year’s State of the Nation Address to a joint sitting of the National Assembly and the Senate.
Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka disclosed the date of the address to the Star on Monday. The date was firmed up during the President’s meeting with Parliament’s leadership at State House, Nairobi, last Saturday.
Uhuru met speakers of the bicameral Parliament. They were Lusaka, his National Assembly counterpart Justin Muturi, their deputies Margaret Kamar and Moses Cheboi respectively, Majority leaders Amos Kimunya and Samuel Poghisio, Minority leaders John Mbadi and James Orengo and their deputies.
Also present were Majority and Minority Whips and their deputies. Chairpersons of all the committees of the two Houses also attended.
During the meeting, Uhuru asked the legislators to back the BBI and fast-track passage of laws to accelerate the realization of the Big Four agenda.
“The BBI seeks to end the ‘do or die’ attitude at the polls. The fear of losing and what the winner will do to you as you will be a nobody. The BBI and handshake is meant to stop this and enlarge opportunity for all, in a win-win formula,” the President told the leaders.
Article 132 of the Constitution and House Standing Orders obligate the President to address a joint sitting of the Houses on matters that touch on national values.
Uhuru has in the past delivered the address between March and May. Last year, he gave the address on April 4.
However, the address was this year delayed by Covid-19. The first case of the virus was reported in the country in March.
In this year’s address, the head of state will likely take stock of the Big Four agenda. The President may also root for the Building Bridges Initiative vehicle, which he believes will deliver equity and national unity.
President Kenyatta will also report to Parliament the measures taken to achieve national values, progress in the fulfillment of international obligations, and state of security.
“It is imperative the President addresses the nation and unveils our new plans going forward with this new normal,” Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung’wah said last month.
In his last address, Uhuru briefed the nation on the progress his administration had made towards realizing his legacy-defining projects. He also dwelt on the war on graft, as well as the Building Bridges Initiative.
“There will be no turning back on the Building Bridges Initiative that assures inclusion, cohesion, unity, and respect for all Kenyans. No turning back on the war against corruption,” Uhuru told Parliament last year.
He also said there would be no turning back on devolution as it was the answer to unequal development.