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January 21, 2019

Eyes on Uhuru as he sells Raila handshake, Big Four in London

President Uhuru Kenyatta opens the market at the London Stock Exchange during his tour of the United Kingdom, April 17, 2018. /PSCU
President Uhuru Kenyatta opens the market at the London Stock Exchange during his tour of the United Kingdom, April 17, 2018. /PSCU

President Uhuru Kenyatta takes the international stage on Tuesday evening to explain his second term plans for Kenya.

Uhuru has been keen on development following his swearing-in on November 28, 2017.

Between 5.30pm and 6.30pm, he will speak at Chatham House at an event titled 'Kenya’s Priorities for Inclusive Growth: Towards Domestic Development and Regional Peace'.

He will also explain what his March 9 handshake with Opposition leader Raila Odinga means for Kenya's future, especially economically.

Related: Raila's supporters frozen in wait for true meaning of Uhuru handshake

The President believes the unity deal will help the country focus on development instead of politics.

The finer details of the action plan, that resulted from the handshake and the joint statement by the two leaders, are still being worked on.

A working group of eight members, led by lawyer Paul Mwangi for Raila and ambassador Martin Kimani for Uhuru, has been meeting ahead of another joint press conference by the two leaders.

Today, Uhuru is expected to highlight the truce and also use the opportunity to explain the 'Big Four' economic plan.

"He will also obviously speak on his Big Four development agenda, which is at the heart of his drive for inclusive growth," State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu said on Sunday.

Kenya's role on regional integration, peace and development will also feature in Uhuru's address in London.

"His speech will dwell on Kenya’s efforts in achieving inclusive growth and supporting regional peace, [as well as] its station in a globalising world," Esipisu said.

Many will be keen on the President's remarks on the Big Four plan as its finer details are yet to be made public.

State House says the details will be given just before the reading of the next budget in June but insists its implementation has taken off.

"The final detailed implementation measures for the Big Four Action Plan will be unveiled to the public before the FY 2018/19 budget reading," Chief of Staff Nzioka Waita said last week.

Uhuru has identified manufacturing, universal healthcare, food security and provision of 500,000 affordable housing units as the key agendas for his last term.

Read: Eastlands set for 30,000 cheap houses as Big Four takes shape

In his address at the upcoming Devolution Conference in Kakamega, the Jubilee Party leader will highlight how national cohesion is central to the achievement of this agenda.

The President will also lay emphasis on cooperation between the national and county governments for the sake of the Big Four plan.

According to Waita, each pillar of the Big Four plan is chaired by the Cabinet Secretaries key to specific clusters.

"In addition, Cabinet sub-committees have been convened under the stewardship of Deputy President William Ruto. They will report back to the full Cabinet," he said.

He also explained that Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich chairs the budget alignment meetings "to ensure consonance between the aspirations and financing".

"The final 2018/19 budget statement will reflect this new thinking as the first step towards a full realignment," he said.

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