Full State of The Nation speech by President Kenyatta

Another significant transition has taken place with the renewal of our electoral body, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission. This transition demonstrated our ability to navigate a complex political challenge and averted a constitutional crisis. I congratulate the old IEBC team for a job well done; and I pledge support to the new team.

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.

During this period, my administration has supported the effective functioning of independent bodies. We believe in the value that these bodies add to our national fabric because they protect individual rights, and ensure fair play and equal treatment for all. It is important that we accept and protect the role of independent offices, and that we work within the bounds of our constitutional order.

Undoubtedly, constitutional bodies should be held to account in the fulfillment of their mandates. However, it should be remembered that attempts to subvert this constitutional framework damages our democracy, undermines the rule of law, and weakens our institutional development, and our nation.

Fellow Kenyans

A significant pillar of our transformation in the past four years is the realisation of the longstanding aspiration of the Kenyan people for devolution. This has been a historic undertaking that has few peers anywhere in the world.

One of my proudest achievements as President has been to chaperone the implementation of a devolved system of government.

My administration has gone over and beyond the Constitutional requirement by increasing the percentage of shareable revenues from 15% to 34%. We have also supplemented the development agenda of County governments through conditional grants in areas such health and water. To manage what has been a complex transformation, my administration has engaged at the highest level through the Intergovernmental Budget and Economic Council chaired by the Deputy President.

My administration has also accelerated the transfer of functions and personnel to the county governments in accordance with Article 187 and the Fourth Schedule of the Constitution. As we march forward, we will build a stronger framework for intergovernmental cooperation to resolve any challenges that emerge. To this end, I have directed the Attorney General, in consultation with the Council of Governors, to review the scope and mandate of the Inter-Governmental Technical Relations Committee.

Honourable Members,

My administration’s championing of Devolution goes beyond the legal processes of implementation. By making the timely transfer of funds, far above the constitutional threshold, and our smooth implementation of the transfer of functions, a welcome economic dynamism has emerged in the counties.

Our support for Devolution has driven us to seek out and implement, in partnership with County governments, projects that have a real and positive impact on county residents.

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 caesarian section conducted in their County.

Our strong collaboration with the County Government of Lamu has enabled the rehabilitation of a previously dilapidated King Fadh Hospital as well as the addition of a new Accident and Emergency Care Centre. This new facility, which will start its operations next month, will transform the health outcomes for the residents of Lamu County by offering dialysis, X-Ray, emergency operations, and ICU services.

In counties like Uasin Gishu and Narok, we are collaborating to build new stadia.

Our joint effort with the County Government of Turkana has led to the successful implementation of a government-driven livestock insurance and compensation program. A first in Kenyan and African history.

The National government has been able to provide street lights in all County Headquarters and to 36 other towns across the country. This has injected economic vibrancy into previously sleepy towns.

Fellow Kenyans, together, we are champions of Devolution; we believe in it, we have worked, and will continue to work, to deliver its full benefits to Kenyans.

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