Whistling by opposition lawmakers forced Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta to interrupt his annual State of the Nation Address in Parliament on Thursday, obliging the Speaker to restore order.
Kenyatta cut short his address moments after he started, when the loud whistling began. The interruption was the first of its kind since early 2008, when Parliament was disrupted by shouting and heckling after a disputed presidential election in December 2007.
Opposition lawmakers had earlier indicated they were considering showing their displeasure with Kenyatta’s government by disrupting his speech.
His administration, which took office in April 2013, has been plagued by allegations of mismanagement and corruption affecting, among others, the National Youth Service job-creation programme and Mombasa port, the country’s main port.
Speaker Justin Muturi ordered security to remove the opposition lawmakers who were orchestrating the disruption.
Kenyatta resumed the speech, which was broadcast live on television, after a delay of around 25 minutes.