It has been 4 years of change, says President Kenyatta
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday gave his last State-of-the-Nation address before the expiry of his first term in office.
The president focussed the speech on the achievements of his administration for the last four years in areas of national security, regional stability, devolution, economy, education, health among others.
“Today, we celebrate an extraordinary Kenyan journey: four years of transformation, of growth, and the deepening our democracy,” he said at Parliament Buildings in Nairobi.
On devolution, Mr Kenyatta said Kenya had made major strides, describing the decentralisation of power and resources as a “historic undertaking” that has few peers anywhere in the world.
He said his administration had gone over and beyond the constitutional requirement by increasing the percentage of shareable revenues from 15 to 34 percent of the national cake.
His administration, he said, had supported county governments through conditional grants in areas such a health and water.
“Our support for devolution ha driven us to seek out and implement, in partnership with counties, projects that have a real and positive impacts on county residents,” he said.
The Head of State said the Jubilee government had also accelerated the transfer of functions, resources and personnel from the national level to the 47 devolved units.
“It is due to such an effort that the people of Wajir now have their first ever tarmac roads. Our support has ensured that the residents of Modagashe in Garissa witnessed the first caesarean section conducted in their County,” he said.
He directed Attorney-General Githu Muigai and county governors to review the scope and mandate of the intergovernmental technical relations committee with a view of improving ties between Nairobi and the counties.
The President saluted the National Assembly and the Senate, likening the to Houses to the independence Parliament, for helping implement the Constitution that Kenyans adopted in 2010.
“In the last four years, the Jubilee administration, with the help of Parliament, has completed our constitutional implementation. During this phase, Parliament has passed, and I have assented to, 136 laws,” he said.
“You have done that job well. Your commitment has put our nation on a solid legal foundation that is the key to sustainable development.”
Mr Kenyatta said his leadership had seen transformation and reformation of the judiciary, the electoral commission and independent commissions and offices.
“I congratulate the old IEBC team for a job well done; and I pledge support to the new team,” he said.
“I have full confidence that this team is capable of delivering a credible election. I call on all Kenyans to provide space for the IEBC to operate as an independent body, as it undertakes its important national duties.”
He said his administration had addressed insecurity and protected Kenya’s borders against external enemies, especially Somalia-based Al-Shabaab.
“We have degraded the capacity of Al-Shabaab to carry out large-scale attacks in Kenya and elsewhere,” he said.
“Our efforts have led to the establishment of successive civilian governments in Somalia, including the recently concluded successful and peaceful election of President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed.”
He saluted the gallant soldiers who have lost their lives in their war against global terrorism in Somalia by asking the House to observe a one-minute moment of silence.
On the home front, the President said his administration had taken measures to stem crime and lawlessness including poaching, inter-communal conflicts, tribal clashes, banditry, cattle rustling.
“We have built a well-coordinated multi-agency approach to ensure public safety and security,” he said.
“We have invested in better equipment, training, and working tools. We have also increased the numbers of police officers.”