By Christine Muchira
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday delivered his state of the nation address calling on the opposition to liberally criticise his government and provide alternatives.
In his speech the President said his government has created the most active and effective opposition and civil society in Africa.
He reminded the opposition that they are the alternative side of the Nationalist Covenant, are part of it, and are bound by it through normative law.
‘Our opposition should be reminded that they are the alternative side of the Nationalist Covenant. That they are part of it, and are bound by it through normative law. In their undertakings, therefore, they must remain true to the commonwealth of all,’ said President Kenyatta.
While the president welcomed constructive criticism, he emphasized on the need for the opposition to recognize the spirit of nationalism.
”I invite opposition and the ‘alternative society’ to liberally criticize my government’s agenda. But they must not criticize it as a ‘sport’. They must criticize it as owners of the Covenant, and provide alternatives. Criticism without alternatives is reckless political ‘sport’, said President Kenyatta.
At the same time, the President called on every Kenyans to reflect and ensure his actions promote unity and nationhood.
”I address myself to the beneficiaries of expanded fields of citizen expression including civil society, the general population and media, they must enjoy the new liberties with conscious responsibility and faithfulness to the covenant,” he added.
This even as six whistle blowing ODM MPs were ejected out of the house as they attempted to disrupt the President address to the nation.
The MPs met the wrath of the National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi after they failed to observe silence as required by the standing orders twice temporarily interrupting the President from commencing his speech. All this took place as the president watched smilingly.
Speaker Muturi and his Senate Counterpart Ekwe Ethuri were forced to order six ODM MPs among them Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi, Kasarani MP T.J Kajwang, Gwasi MP John Mbadi, Nyando MP Fed Outa, Suba MP Milly Odhiambo, Dagoretti North MP Simba Arati, Migori Women Rep Gladys Wanga and Senator Moses Kajwang out of the chamber.
While addressing the joint parliament sitting, President Kenyatta lauded his government for supporting devolution by ensuring every year counties receive at least double of the constitutional allocation.
He however called on Kenyans to demand accountability from county governments for over the 1 trillion shillings that has been devolved over the last three years.
According to the president; Kenya is on a growth trajectory with inflation remaining under control.
In his speech, the President outlined key achievements including tarmacking of 3000 kilometers of road, investment in ICT, security and agriculture which he said was proof that the country is headed in the right direction.