By Dorcas S
August 8, 2017 is less than three months away and review of Jubilee’s 2013 campaign manifesto is due. The article titled “Harmonized Coalition Manifesto – Transforming Kenya: Securing Kenya’s Prosperity 2013-2017” offers the following promises from the four (4) erstwhile coalition partners:
– Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta offered to “unleash the energy, dynamism and strength of the Kenyan people.”
– Mr. William Ruto promised to “deliver change in the key areas which represent the (country’s) core ideals…..”
– Ms. Charity Ngilu, the sole woman in the quartet was confident that the coalition would offer “new solutions” that “address many of the wrongs in (Kenya)”.
– Mr. Najib Balala, cognizant of the insecurity plaguing the country committed “bold leadership and bold decisions” to address the “insecurity…..and porous borders”.
Summarized, Jubilee Coalition offered a platform that promised to:
1) Put food and clean water on every Kenyan table.
2) Create wealth.
3) Ensure that every child in Kenya gets quality education
4) Ensure that every Kenyan gets quality and affordable healthcare.
5) Empower Kenyan women to take their rightful place in developing this country.
6) Develop a cogent foreign relations and trade policy for Kenya.
7) Keep Kenya safe and secure both internally and externally.
Reviewed against the last four years, only the most partisan would conclude that Jubilee has delivered on its campaign promises. In a survey conducted by the polling firm IPSOS Research, Kenyans listed (a) hunger, (b) corruption and (c) the high cost of living as their main concerns.
On the promise to (1) “put food and clean water on every Kenyans table” and (2) “create wealth”, a plurality of Kenyans surveyed concluded that the ruling party had not delivered.
Additionally, using the persistent scandals that have plagued Kenya’s institutions of learning as benchmarks, it is not unreasonable to conclude that Jubilee has failed to deliver on its assurance (3) “that every child in Kenya (will) get quality education”.
Jubilee’s pledge to (4) “(E)nsure that every Kenyan gets quality and affordable healthcare” would be laughable if it did not directly impact human lives. Former President Mwai Kibaki’s trip to South Africa for “specialized treatment” and the many reports of Kenyans stuck in foreign countries, unable to pay for medical services already rendered say it all: Jubilee has not delivered on said pledge and as usual, efforts at providing healthcare were engulfed in scandals, this time implicating the president’s immediate family!
One would be hard-pressed to argue that women took (5) “their rightful place” in developing Kenya given Gov. Kidero’s assault on Ms. Rachel Shebesh and Moses Kuria’s vile threat against Mbita MP Millicent Odhiambo. The country also witnessed the sexist personal attacks against former Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru and Esther Passaris (with host Jeff Koinange’s tacit acquiescence).
In the one bright spot for Jubilee, I’d offer that Kenya developed (6) “cogent foreign relations and trade policy” albeit at a price.
Besides successfully rallying the African Union (AU) to save Mr. Kenyatta and Mr. Ruto in their crimes-against-humanity cases at The Hague, the highlight of Jubilee’s 1st term saw outgoing American President and part-Kenyan Barack Obama bring the full prestige and might of the American Presidency to Kenya.
Mr. Obama’s visit was followed by that of the equally popular global icon Pope Francis. The country also hosted a series of high profile international gatherings including the Tokyo International Conference of African Development (TICAD).
And while President Obama prematurely lauded Mr. Kenyatta’s “war against corruption”, Pope Francis called out the rot that is land-grabbing and the “sugary taste” of ill-gotten gains thanks to endemic corruption.
Jubilee oversaw continuation of projects such as the over-priced Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) Project — set in motion BEFORE they came into office. The self-titled “digital duo” also oversaw mega-projects that required massive infusions of cash and the inevitable cost over-runs as party stalwarts and their acolytes got their cut of the respective tenders.
Finally, between 2013 to 2015, Jubilee was a party unable to (7) “keep Kenyans safe and secure” largely because of incompetent, ill-equipped, unprofessional and scandal-plagued trigger-happy law enforcement and security apparatus — unsurprisingly led by corrupt and incompetent leadership. Not only was Mr. Kenyatta’s government unable to hold accountable corrupt and incompetent security and law enforcement personnel, the president and his national security team seemed incapable of formulating a coherent strategy in response to the repeated attacks.
Summarized, the following images crystallize the last four years of Jubilee’s time in office:
A). Deadly attacks by al-Shabaab extremists while the president takes in an F1 race in Dubai.
B). A chastened presidential confidante and former CS Anne Waiguru pressured to resign because of misappropriated billions under her watch.
C). An churlish and defeated President Kenyatta passing the (corruption) buck onto everyone except himself during a “summit” on corruption even as he gloats about “eating meat” while his opponents “salivate”.
D). Members of Parliament flying to Germany to seek treatment for injuries sustained during a fight in parliament while Kenyans raise funds for trips to India or SA for treatment or worse yet, succumb to easy-to-treat ailments because of inadequate health facilities.
E) Kenyans dying of thirst and hunger.
F) The cost of Unga up 176%, Milk up 163%, Paraffin up 133%, Sugar up 200%, Water (20ltrs) up 400% and Electricity up 120%
G) National Debt from KSh. 1tn to KSh. 4trn up 400%
If the foregoing doesn’t send Jubilee home on August 9, then Kenyans deserve another 5 years of the same incompetence!