Highlights: President Kenyatta’s State House Address

President Uhuru Kenyatta today made an impromptu State of the Nation address at State House, Mombasa County. What has, however, come out clear is that the President has suddenly realized the time is running and he’s been left with very limited time to make his delivery pledges, like the Big 4 Agenda a reality.

Terming it as an Economic Strategy, the President highlighted several areas that his administration will focus on over the next few months in attempts to salvage the country’s collapsing economy and to increase the money in circulation.

Pending Bills.

Kenyatta talked about the pending bills, a major problem that has led to the closure of very many medium businesses and job losses. Delayed payments by the National and the County governments have affected many SMEs. According to Treasury CS, the outstanding balance of eligible government pending bills as of December last year was Sh22.71 billion. Another Sh37.7 billion had no sufficient evidence to deserve payment. The President noted that the two governments paid the pending bills owed to them by 31st December last year to contractors and suppliers who demonstrated eligibility. All infrastructural bills will be settled early this year.

“With the planned infrastructure bond of 150B shillings all infrastructure related bills will be settled early this year and this will go a long way to weigh the completion of all ongoing roads and infrastructure projects,” said Uhuru.

Interest Rates.

President Kenyatta admitted on the effect the removal of the interest rate cabs has caused on the economy of the country. He urged the Central Bank of Kenya to use the full range of instruments and regulation policies at its disposal to revive shrinking access to credit by businesses and to root out predatory lending in the banking industry. All banks have been directed to offer loans at affordable interest rates.  Kenyatta said five commercial banks have set aside 10 billion shillings to be lent to SMEs at an interest rate of 9% per annum. The loan amounts range from 30,000 to 250,000.

See also  Ugandan pipeline to pass through Tanzania and not Kenya

Focus on Agriculture.

Agriculture in Kenya is the dominant economic engine, accounting for 70 percent of the workforce and about 25 percent of the annual country’s GDP. The sector has always been marred by a number of challenges and this has robbed the farmers of their rightful gains and livelihoods. Kenyatta has directed actions to increase the earnings to farmers as opposed to middlemen and brokers.

“Empirical evidence abounds; as a result of poor corporate governance farmers who would be earning about 91 shillings per kilo for their tea, are currently earning about 41 shillings with 50 shillings per kilo going to brokers and middlemen,” Kenyatta said in regards to tea pricing.

The President directed the National Treasury to operationalize 3B shillings Cherry revolving Funds meant to meet the daily cash flow needs of the farmers, therefore, cushioning them from delayed payment. The Treasury has also been directed to release 300M to the Micro and Small Entreprises Authority for the construction of cold storage and processing facilities for perishable products in Nyandarua and Kisii.

President Kenyatta fired Mwangi Kiunjuri, the Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture, and appointed Hon. Peter Munya to take up his roles.

Entertainment Industry.

The Entertainment industry which has always been ignored was finally remembered today. Many youths are talented and blessed with creative skills in this sector. However, they have not been able to eat the fruits of their hard work or are getting low returns from their entertainment investment. Kenyatta announced that Content Service Providers such as Citizen Tv’s Viusasa and Safaricom’s SKIZA Tunes will now be eliminated and Multi-prolonged approach employed to support the industry. The ICT Kenya Copyright Board has been tasked with receiving all royalties from various Content Service Providers and channeling them to the artists, a move Kenyatta said will make it easy for auditing of collection and distribution accounts. The board has been directed to gazette the 2020 tariffs.

See also  KCSE 2019 Results Released: Highlights and Analysis

National Disasters.

President Uhuru Kenyatta said the government has mobilized 5.2billion shillings to provide relief food supplies, undertake a resettlement program for the displaced communities, support reconstruction of homes that have been destroyed, address health concerns and reconstruct critical infrastructure, including water supplies.

“I am closely monitoring the implementation of this disaster recovery operation to ensure that the affected households are able to regain some stability as soon as possible,” Kenyatta said.

Health Sector.

President Uhuru Kenyatta suspended the implementation of the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) regulations that had tripled costs for new members. The proposed changes in the fees and structure of insurance benefits of the NHIF have therefore been halted pending further consultation.

READ: The New NHIF rules meant to screw Kenyans.

The War Against Corruption.

Corruption is the biggest and tragic challenge facing Kenya. Our security, accountability systems, access to better services and efforts to achieve progressive developments and better lives by the citizens has been made impossible. Today, Kenyatta reiterated on his efforts to fight corruption in the country.

Uhuru directed the NIS to undertake a rigorous review of all cartel groupings, especially in the procurement sectors. The DPP and the ODPP have been urged to confront these malpractices with concerted efforts.

“I want the review to pay particular attention to cartels operating in the public systems of budgeting, procurement, regulation and the illegal rigging of markets. It should also put the agricultural sector under the microscope,” President Uhuru said.

Read Also: That confusing tweet by President Uhuru Kenyatta that was deleted

See also  Airtel's Tubonge Bundles offer relatively better value for money than Safaricom's Flex Bundles

Cabinet Changes.

Uhuru Kenyatta made the following cabinet changes.

  • Ukur Yatani confirmed- CS Treasury, Henry Rotich officially fired
  • Peter Munya- CS Agriculture, Mwangi Kiunjuri fired.
  • Mutahi Kagwe – CS Health
  • Betty Maina – CS Industrialization
  • John Weru – PS Trade
  • Dr. Jwan Ouma – PS Vocational and Technical Training
  • Mary Kimunye – PS Public Service
  • Simon Nabukwesi – PS University of Education and Research
  • Solomon Kitungu – PS Transport
  • Enoch Momanyi Onyango – PS Physical Planning

Chief Administrative Secretaries Nominations.

  • Hussein Dado – Interior
  • Patrick ole Ntutu – Labour and Social Protection
  • Andrew Tuimur – Water
  • Abdul Bahari – Devolution and ASAL
  • Lawrence Karanja – Industrialisation, Trade and Enterprise Development
  • Peter Odoyo – Defence
  • Maureen Magoma Mbaka – ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs
  • Winnie Guchu – State Law Office
  • Wavinya Ndeti – Transport
  • Zachariah Kinuthia Mugure – Education
  • Mumina Bonaya – Education
  • Lina Jebii Kilimo – Agriculture
  • Anne Mukami Nyaga – Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives
  • Mercy Mwangangi – Health
  • Nadia Ahmed Abdallah – ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs

Read Also: Another Maize Scandal worth over shs 30 billion has erupted

Enock Bett
Digital Media Enthusiast|Tech, Business, Corporate Affairs, Politics, and Governance. [No Modes]
EMAIL: [email protected]
Enock Bett on FacebookEnock Bett on Twitter

Enock Bett

Digital Media Enthusiast|Tech, Business, Corporate Affairs, Politics, and Governance. [No Modes] EMAIL: [email protected]

You may also like...