President Uhuru Kenyatta will finally deliver this year’s State of the Nation Address to the joint sitting of the National Assembly and Senate on November 12.
The address was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
It will come just days after the President, while launching the BBI report at the Bomas of Kenya, urged Kenyans to maintain peace and avoid mudslinging politics.
On Tuesday, National Assembly Clerk Michael Sialai said the address will be delivered from the debating chambers of the National Assembly, where only 114 of the 416 MPs from the two Houses on a shared ratio will be allowed to attend. “Speaker Justin Muturi has just handed me a confirmation from State House that the President will address the nation on November 12,” Mr Sialai told the Nation.
The National Assembly has 349 members and Senate 67, meaning that the rest will follow the address from the chambers of the Senate and other designated areas such as the members’ lounge and tents.
The public will be allowed to catch the action from big screens to be erected outside the precincts of Parliament.
Since the Covid-19 outbreak was first declared in the country on March 13, Parliament changed its modus operandi, reducing the number of members attending proceedings.
Mr Sialai noted that compliance to the Ministry of Health guidelines — wearing masks, hand washing or sanitising and social distancing — must be observed at all times. “We have no option but to comply with the Covid-19 guidelines that this House helped pass so as to ensure the safety of members and other Kenyans outside there,” Mr Sialai noted.
Currently, the two Houses are on recess, with the National Assembly expected back next Tuesday.
During the address, the President is required to report on all the measures taken and the progress achieved in the realisation of the national values as provided for in Article 10 of the Constitution.