NAIROBI, Kenya Mar 27 – Members of Parliament have given varied verdicts to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s second address to the joint special sitting of the Senate and the National Assembly.
Opposition MPs Ababu Namwamba (Budalangi), Kakamega County Senator Boni Khalwale and Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Junior said that President squandered an opportunity to address his future plans for the country.
Majority of MPs interviewed by Capital FM News were disappointed that the President Kenyatta did not adequately address the key issue of rampant insecurity coming days after gunmen stormed a church and shot at faithful. There have been also several cases of carjacking which did not spare those close to power such the Deputy President’s Communications Secretary, the President’s relative and an MP among others.
“The President is supposed to give hope to the nation through these 47 minutes when the country is watching. Parliament has stopped its proceedings, it’s not a moment for the President to come and regurgitate nothing,” said Namwamba.
Khalwale was more disappointed with the President’s assessment that the prices of basic commodities such as fuel, sugar and cooking fat were actually lower in February this year than they were in February 2013.
“For the President to use a day like this to say the cost of living has gone down, simply means the president was not living in the country at that time, because he was he would know the prices of this products as compared to now,” he said while blaming the Jubilee Coalition National Assembly members who have constantly used the tyranny of numbers to force through government backed legislations.
Minority Coalition leaders Senator Moses Wetangula and Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo said the President ought to have assured Kenyans on measure his government is taking curb raising costs of living as well as lay out strategies to meet the government’s flagship projects.
“Where is the gist in this statement? Long on polemics, short on substance, long on rhetoric short on substance and that is a bit off the mark from our expectations as the alternative government,” said Minority Senator Wetangula.
“Every campaign stop the President had, they promised to deliver an annual double digit growth now he is promising a six percent growth in the second year. This shows that they are incapable of delivering,” said Midiwo.
The Gem MP, who engaged the President in a conversation as he left the Parliament Chamber, told Capital FM News that Kenyatta’s advisers are to blame for his less than visionary speech.
“The President was even categorical that it is okay for the cost of living to be high, when he said the 16 percent Value Added Tax is here to stay,” he said.