This afternoon President William Ruto made his inaugural address in the joint sitting of parliament. He made the speech short, focused, straightforward, and sure where he highlighted the key issues of his government. He started by indicating that the 13th parliament has recorded the highest number of re-elected members of parliament with 193 in parliament and 17 in the senate reelected confirming the increased public confidence in their leaders.
Further, he lauded the election of 29 women members in the assemblies 6 more than those elected in 2017, showing the importance of women’s leadership in this country. He also noted that in the election of the executive the public showed their confidence by them achieving 25% in 39 counties in 2022. This public confidence should raise the bar in the service to the people.
He further stated that the election was the most intensely contested yet was the most peaceful. In this election, Ethnicity has been drowned, ethnic mobilization done away with and we now have a paradigm shift to issue-based politics. There was a light moment when he said that “The sitting DP became the candidate of government and leader of opposition became the government candidate. The opposition candidate won the election and became the president and the government candidate became the opposition making the president the leader of the opposition which only happens in Kenya and the beauty of our democracy. He further stated that he will be a loyal hardworking president.
On his administration, he said that it will be impartial irrespective of tribal and party affiliations. He will run an open and transparent administration and rely on the parliament for oversight to ensure the taxpayers get value for their money. He further stated that he believes in the rule of law and will respect the independence of parliament. He also requested parliament to consider amending the standing orders to allow cabinet secretaries to answer questions in the house.
On matters CRB he indicated that they should consider having credit scores rather than blacklisting. He informed the house that following a meeting with the stakeholders yesterday, Fuliza has reduced lending rates and cost of credit by 50% unlocking billions required to spur economic growth.
The MSMEs will access the hustler fund digitally and the fund regulatory framework will be brought into the house. His administration will also unlock housing by working on land availability and providing access to stable financing for those engaged in housing. A housing intake plan framework will also be taken to parliament for approval. On the water, 500 billion is required and the government will adopt a Public Private Partnership to make this happen.
He noted that Kenya is not in good financial standing and we must keep the recurrent expenditure below the revenue and invest at least 25% of the GDP. Tax measures will be introduced and he’s of the view that KRA should be renamed to Kenya Revenue Service in line with culture change and serving Kenyans.
The president will lead the National Savings drive where the government will contribute 1 shilling for every 2 shillings a Kenyan saves meaning a Kenyan Saving Ksh 6000 per year the government will contribute 3000 a year. On CDF he believes there is a way it can be aligned to be in line with the constitution. President Ruto has many firsts, today he made the shortest speech ever in the first opening of parliament lasting for about 30 minutes.
What is your takeaway from the speech?
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Dr. Mary Mugo
Strategy, Governance, and Management Consultant.