Cord threat to boycott Uhuru state address

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Uhuru addressCORD MPs have threatened to boycott President Uhuru Kenyatta’s State of the Nation address to Parliament tomorrow.

MPs who spoke to the Star yesterday said the annual Presidential address to Parliament has been reduced to a ritual with no substance.

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The constitution demands that the President addresses the House once a year.

He is to give a progress report on the State of the Nation and to unveil his legislative agenda for the coming year.

Cord minority whip Thomas Mwadeghu has convened a Parliamentary Group meeting today to discuss various disruptive measures, including boycotting the presidential address.

Parliament has 418 lawmakers, including 136 from the opposition.

MPs also want to launch their new call of ‘No Electoral Reforms, No Elections’ in Parliament on Thursday to force President Uhuru to undertake minimum electoral reforms before the 2017 elections.

Cord has demanded the disbandment of the IEBC and has threatened to boycott elections if the electoral body is not reformed.

Yesterday ODM Chairman John Mbadi issued a statement saying the party “is consulting widely within itself and with coalition partners in Cord on how to ensure the State of the Nation address lives up to its billing as contained in the Constitution and does not continue to degenerate into a public relations exercise for the ruling Jubilee coalition and empty rhetoric.”

“The so called address has been reduced to a ritual and a talk show that does not make any meaningful sense. We will make that point on the floor of the house,” ODM Secretary of Political Affairs Opiyo Wandayi told the Star yesterday.

Jakoyo Midiwo, deputy minority leader in the National Assembly, told the Star that he and many of his colleagues may not attend the address because the President has not fought corruption as he promised last year.

“I am aware of his coming but I am disinterested in what Uhuru will say on Thursday,” Midiwo said.

Last year the President declared that he had “drawn a line” on corruption when he tabled a list of 185 senior government officials including Cabinet ministers and demanded they step aside.

Court cases have started against some of them and many have stepped aside.

According to Midiwo, this was not enough.

“Uhuru can not address corruption through speeches, he should take action,” Midiwo said.

Majority Leader Adan Duale challenged Cord to come up with their own proposals instead of disrupting or boycotting parliamentary

and does not continue to degenerate into a public relations exercise for the ruling Jubilee coalition and empty rhetoric.”

“The so called address has been reduced to a ritual and a talk show that does not make any meaningful sense. We will make that point on the floor of the house,” ODM Secretary of Political Affairs Opiyo Wandayi told the Star yesterday.

Jakoyo Midiwo, deputy minority leader in the National Assembly, told the Star that he and many of his colleagues may not attend the address because the President has not fought corruption as he promised last year.

“I am aware of his coming but I am disinterested in what Uhuru will say on Thursday,” Midiwo said.

Last year the President declared that he had “drawn a line” on corruption when he tabled a list of 185 senior government officials including Cabinet ministers and demanded they step aside.

Court cases have started against some of them and many have stepped aside.

According to Midiwo, this was not enough.

“Uhuru can not address corruption through speeches, he should take action,” Midiwo said.

Majority Leader Adan Duale challenged Cord to come up with their own proposals instead of disrupting or boycotting parliamentary

proceedings.

“Can they tell Kenyans what meaningful alternative solutions they have proposed to solve the problems facing Kenyans? They must stop emptyrhetoric,” Duale said yesterday.

Nominated MP and TNA chairman Johnstone Sakaja sarcastically welcomed Cord’s boycott threat.

“If they feel like they would like to play to the gallery, their move is welcome as we’ve been having serious space constraints during the State of the Nation Address. The chamber might be a bit more comfortable without them,”Sakaja told the Star.

“It is their right to skip the address but what is baffling is that they think they are hurting Jubilee. Cord is drinking poison and expecting Jubilee to die from it,” said TNA MP Moses Kuria ( Gatundu Sout).

However Homa Bay Town MP Peter Kaluma was unequivocal that he will not attend the sitting,

“I am in Nairobi but will not attend because it will be a waste of time,” Kaluma said.

“He comes to Parliament and draws a red line on corruption but you do not see the line. It is not only Cord that feels they should boycott. Even our colleagues in Jubilee feel the same,” Kaluma added.

“The address to Parliament has been abused. The president

will be wasting his time coming to address Parliament,” Makueni MP Dan Mwazo said.

Coast Parliamentary Group Whip Kilifi and Women Rep Aisha Jumwa said she does not need to spend hours listening to a long speech that will not help the Coastal electorate.

“That is the Cord stand because nothing has been implemented from the last address,” Jumwa said yesterday.

Kitutu Masaba MP and ODM treasurer Timothy Bosire said the address by the President will be sugar coated to hoodwink Kenyans.“This government talks good things but does the opposite. They promised us heaven but they can’t even get us to the moon,” Bosire told the Star yesterday.

“This government has nothing new to offer Kenyans.” he added.

-the-star.co.ke

 

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