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Uhuru: Here are the strides we have made

By HE Uhuru Kenyatta 

As always it is a great pleasure to return to this August House where I have had the opportunity to serve on both sides of the parliamentary divide.

I first served as a nominated MP introduced in to this chamber by Hon. Raila Odinga and Musalia Mudavadi.

Of all the lessons the enduring one is that Kenya is always greater than any one of us.

In times of great political turmoil men and women must be spurred by the love of their country to bridge partisan divides and to come together to put Kenya first.

My address today will lay emphasis on three elements that I consider important to our country: the state of our economic development, the state of our social structure and the state of our nationhood.

A crisis is indeed about choices; those who choose danger and fear do not survive, those who see the crisis through the lens of opportunity develop resilience and are able build back better.

Kenya's economy grew at 0.3 during the 2020 period despite the Covid challenge.

The second quarter of 2021 registered the most impressive growth ever recorded in our nations GDP.

COVID taught us important lessons, we are coming from a difficult period for our economy but we should be proud of the intervention measures we put in place.

To overcome the crisis we had to act as one rather than allowing the nation to succumb to Covid-19 fatigue we came together and galvanized our people towards strength and building back better.

Because of fiscal stimuli, impact of COVID on the economy was 14 times lesser than that of the global economy.

 First stimuli package exchequer had to forego Kshs. 176B in taxes.

For the first time KRA exceeded its revenue collection target despite the COVID stress over the economy. KRA projected a Ksh.1.5T collection in tax during 2020, they collected Ksh.1.67T which was in excess of their projected intention.

A Kenyan company in Kilifi County became Africa's largest producer and exporter of vaccine syringes during the Covid period... it exported 70 million syringes to over 20 countries globally.

We have set out to implement the lessons of self-reliance which was one of the key learning points of the pandemic. As a first step, we have established the Kenya Biovax Limited a venture that will produce local anti-Covid vaccines

In March 2020 we had only 1 lab that could test notifiable diseases of international concern, we had to send our tests to S. Africa & had to wait 5 days for the S.A lab to send us results. Today we have moved from 1 testing lab to 95 well equipped labs.

I promised 10M to be vaccinated by Dec, we are at 7M. I urge all to get the jab. Let's err on the side of caution, protect our lives and those of all Kenyans. That shot in the arm will be safe for our economy & help us return to normal.

Our Covid innovations in the areas of health have propelled us to a place where Kenya can become a destination of health tourism.

Covid will not be defeated by lock downs or by shutting off parts of the world that we think are problematic. No one will be safe from Covid until we are all safe.

During the COVID stress period the national and county governments demonstrated their true leadership. Nothing demonstrates this better than the strengthening of our healthcare systems under the dark cover of the COVID-19 pressure.

In 2013 Kenya was Africa's 12th wealthiest with a GDP of Ksh4.74Trillion in a span of 123years, in just 8 years my administration has multiplied the GDP to Ksh11Trillion. Kenya is now ranked 6th wealthiest nation on the continent.

Transport Sector and Manufacturing sector have significantly improved and are on the right track.

We have built 10,500 kilometers of road across the republic and doing so 15 times faster than previous administrations. When I took oath office in 2013 Kenya’s total grid was 1300 megawatts, 8 years later that has doubled & now stands at 2600 megawatts.

We have connected more people to power in the last 6 years than any other regime. In fact we are the leading Country in Africa in terms of electricity connection.

Key reforms that we have implemented include; full automation of business registration services, reengineering application for power, water & sewer connection & automation of the land registration process.

Once the Nairobi Expressway is completed next year, you will be able to travel from Mlolongo to Rironi in 24 minutes compared to now when it takes 3 hours which is equivalent to flying from Nairobi to Addis Ababa and back.

The Port of Lamu is the only post-colonial sea port in Africa built and financed by an African government.

The NHIF Super Cover is another initiative of my administration to guarantee affordability of healthcare. Through this cover dialysis and cancer patients are able to pay for their treatments locally or aboard

The number of KMTCs has increased from 28 campuses in 2013 to 71 campuses today.

Under Linda Mama, all pregnant women are eligible for free maternity healthcare; even those women not covered under NHIF. Each mother is allocated between Ksh. 2,500 and Ksh. 30,000 depending on whether the birth is normal or by caesarean section.

With a monthly subscription of Ksh.500, the NHIF SUPA Cover has become Kenya’s largest, most reliable, accessible and affordable medical insurance cover. Over the last 8 years of my administration, NHIF's membership has steadily grown.

In 2013 when I took over, there were only 26-dialysis machines countrywide. Today, that number stands at 603 dialysis machines. These machines have thus far benefited 383,622 patients and through the NHIF scheme have saved Kenyans approximately Ksh.2.3B.

We have seen an increase in investments in the housing sector amounting to Ksh.2.12T. These investments have yielded over 186,000 housing units; a remarkable 43% increase of housing units compared to the period 2013/17

I'm determined to tool and re-retool our security resources to the highest standards attainable. This is the only way we will guarantee ‘freedom from fear’ for our people and secure our territorial integrity.

The government of Kenya will do everything possible to preserve the territory of this great republic and ensure that generations after generations of Kenya dwell in it, as it is - intact & unencumbered. Not an Inch More: Not an Inch Less

In the last year, the price of our staple food has remained reasonably priced, with a 2 Kg packet of Maize meal retailing at between Ksh.95 and Ksh.105. 

However, despite a bumper crop in some parts of the country, due to the poor performance of the short rains in 2020 and long rains in 2021, parts of the country have suffered severe drought situations. As a result, 2.1 million of our fellow citizens’ resident in ASAL areas are now in need of support.

As part of the State response in 2015, my Administration launched an elaborate framework for Ending Drought Emergencies in Kenya.  This framework focused on investing in interventions that would build the resilience of all the vulnerable households to drought and other calamities.  

I want to say that the health of a security system is only as good as the health of its officers. And this is why I have invested in the social welfare of personnel charged with our security system.

My Administration has secured an impressive economic acceleration, including doubling our GDP from Ksh. 4.74 Trillion to Ksh.11 Trillion.

We have also made Big Push Investments that have spurred development, revived dead capital, and boosted entrepreneurship.  However, all of this would amount to very little without political stabilization. 

If every five years toxic political climate and election-time tensions would reverse the gains painfully secured, our impressive development record of accomplishment would be an immense tower sadly built on sand not rock. 

Political stabilisation is not an end in of itself. It is a continuous process that every administration after me must apply their minds to and secure.

While undoubtedly multi-party politics has been a better democratic platform than the single-party state, we must not ignore the very real negative aspects of our politics and electioneering. The evidence of this is plainly observable in the elections of 1992, 1997, 2007, 2013, and 2017; with only 2002 being an outlier.

And as I have said before, our country has been in a constitutional moment since the 2017 election. The only question is what we should do with that constitutional moment.  If we do not embrace it, how will it return to punish our nation?  And if we embrace it, who are the winners and losers of that moment? That is the National Question before us today.

The Parliamentary Record, as well as history, reflect that during this reporting period My Administration attempted to resolve the constitutional dilemma facing our country. 

We went to the people and 5 Million Kenyans agreed to initiate the process of putting to the vote the First Amendment to the 2010 constitution. 

The First Amendment was, thereafter taken to the County Assemblies, where it received nearly unanimous endorsement. In Parliament, the People’s Elected Representatives gave the First Amendment a clear nod of approval by a margin in excess of two-thirds. 

If Article 1 of the 2010 constitution states that all sovereign power rests in the people of Kenya; and can be exercised either directly or through their representatives, the people spoke regarding the First Amendment. 

They exercised this power directly through the IEBC petition for constitutional change, and indirectly through County Assemblies and Parliament.  The Record of Parliament attests to the fact that the people wanted constitutional change. 

That said, and this being a House of Records, I must record what we lost from the First Amendment. And I am doing this for Parliamentary record and for posterity. 

The First loss was equity in resource allocation.  In missing the First Amendment to the 2010 Constitution, Kenyans missed an increase to the minimum county allocations from the current 15 percent to 35 percent.

The Second loss from the First Amendment was proportional representation. Proportionality is about the equitable distribution of resources amongst all groups. And on this, we were keen on proportional gender balance, among other things.

The Third loss was about expanding the National Executive to accommodate a broader face of Kenya and expand representation. This would have constitutionalized the end of the winner-takes-all outcome of elections that create so much toxicity and tension. This did not happen.

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