President Uhuru Kenyatta interrupted Garissa Township MP, Aden Duale’s media interview, as the lawmaker criticised the State of the Nation address made by the Head of State on Tuesday, November 30.
Duale slammed Uhuru for arriving late for the function at Parliament Buildings, at nearly 3:45 pm contrary to the ceremonial 2:30 pm, and read a 200-plus page speech. He lamented that by arriving late, the President looked down upon the Legislator as he had contravened stipulated timelines.
“The President went further and attacked the Judiciary and particularly judges… some of them… some of them, who were at the gallery,” Duale stuttered as he turned back to see Uhuru walking towards him.
Uhuru, however, oblivious of Duale’s criticism, momentarily interacted with politicians and journalists who were milling around the vocal MP allied to Deputy President William Ruto. He bumped fists with familiar faces before walking away.
The Head of State was accompanied by his aide de camp, and two Speakers of the Parliament - Ken Lusaka (Senate) and Justin Muturi (National Assembly).
Duale went on with his attacks on Uhuru after the journalist interviewing him stepped in to remind him where he had left from, prior to being interrupted.
“Judge Daniel Musinga (Court of Appeal President) was at the gallery and the President basically attacked him. The President cannot use the floor of Parliament to attack the Judiciary. He kept on lamenting about BBI, BBI is null. We expected the President, on matters of national security, to speak on the extrajudicial killing and enforced disappearances, but he did not.
“He was right to outline his achievement but the Constitution provides him certain issues he needed to address. National Security, the national debt. You cannot talk about Kenya’s GDP growing and the country being the sixth wealthiest in Africa when we are grappling with debt,” Duale ranted.
The former Majority Leader of the National Assembly further castigated Uhuru’s speechwriters, urging them to give him a brief, rather than a 2-hour, 16,000-word document.
Uhuru, while making his address, paused twice to take a break and even complained that the speech was too long.
“I am trying to shorten this speech. I am also tired of reading it,” Uhuru lamented.
However, Homa Bay Woman Representative Gladys Wanga differed with Duale and other pro-Ruto MPs and lauded Uhuru for outlining his scorecard.
“I think the President has not been given enough credit for the work he has done in the country,” Wanga stated.
“It was a wonderful speech, one of the best since he came into office. The gist of the speech is his take on political stability,” Suna East MP and Minority Whip at the National Assembly, Junet Mohammed added.