Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee Government has been in power for all of six months since the March 4 polls earlier in the year on the back of an electoral process riddled with irregularities that we as a nation led by the unsteady hand of the Supreme Court unfortunately chose to overlook. That said and done, here we are. Six months down the line. Uhuru Kenyatta is President and his Deputy is William Ruto. What have they managed to get done so far?
Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto styled themselves as “digital” leaders in the campaign period leading up to the elections. They promised the young people of this country real and meaningful involvement in the governance affairs of the nation. Kenya’s collective breath was held in anticipation as the duo announced the make up of their cabinet. And a sigh of disappointment swept across the land when it emerged that not a single youth as per the constitutional definition made it to the line up. Again, we waited with bated breath as the Principal Secretaries were announced and it was more of the same as octogenarians old enough to be my grandfather were unveiled. The youth have been sidelined in the Jubilee Government, that is the cold hard fact of the matter.
Jubilee often put it to the electorate that a CORD Government would be ethnically divisive. Their leadership ran on the theme that Raila Odinga is vengeful by nature and this would see any community that did not vote for him “suffer.” On the contrary, the Jubilee Government has been the most ethnically exclusive regime in the history of Kenya. The cabinet is a good example. There are four members of the President’s community and five from his Deputy’s. That is excluding themselves. That means when the cabinet sits to deliberate on matters of national importance, two thirds of its composition is from two communities in a country that has forty two! It is important in national leadership, that one is sensitive to the need to make a reasonable effort at representing the face of Kenya.
Moreover, on the issue of good governance, there has been a systematic purge of the Chief Executives of leading parastatals since Jubilee took the reins of power with many of the victims dismissed on flimsy reasons. One of the dismissed parastatal heads was sent home on the basis of allegations of nepotism. I find this to be particularly hypocritical of Jubilee considering that no less than the President himself appointed his cousins as his Private Secretary, Solicitor General and Cabinet Secretary respectively. Another was forced to call it quits due to what was termed as financial impropriety. What could be more financially improper than the Deputy President’s chartering of a private jet at 100 million shillings and following that up with refurbishment involving purchase of curtains for his office at 47 million shillings barely two weeks after?
The surprising thing about this all is that the President in his engagement with various civil servants agitating for better terms of service since he took office claimed that the Government had no money?!? This should however come as no surprise to the Kenyan people. This is but a drop of the ocean of unfulfilled promises doled out by the Jubilee Government.
The President in his first national holiday address this past Labor Day announced a 14% rise in the minimum wage. A promise that his Government conveniently forgot to gazette four months down the line. Uhuru Kenyatta also promised teachers that they would get their July salaries after summoning their Union leadership to State House for deliberations. Teachers are still nursing the wounds of bad debts two months down the line. The President gave the nation a guarantee that two controversial appointments to his cabinet, Najib Balala and Charity Ngilu would not participate in politics as is constitutionally required. However, the recent by-election in Makueni saw Charity Ngilu actively involved in the frustration of Kethi Kilonzo efforts at succeeding her father as Senator. Uhuru Kenyatta promised zero tolerance to corruption yet Najib Balala is still in office in the face of grievous allegations of massive corruption involving him.
The Jubilee Coalition ran on the platform of Unity. Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto were pictured on several occasions holding hands, hugging and generally portraying the image of a close brotherly bond that they promised would extend to the Kenyan people. Six months down the line, the Kenyan nation is more divided than it ever was.
You would expect that on the back of the hotly contested polls that President Kenyatta would be keen to build bridges. However, his Government has made it their key agenda to disenfranchise over five million voters and an even greater section of the population through a systematic and deliberate campaign to persecute and humiliate the leaders of their rival political outfit, the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy. From subjecting the Prime Minister to frisks and body searches that they would never dream of doing to his retired co-principal, Retired President Mwai Kibaki to the point of commissioning the Government Spokesperson to conduct what would ordinarily be confidential administrative matters in the public domain through the press. The Jubilee Government has been uncouth in its handling of political dissent. It is unheard of in the entire world for a Government official to requisition a former Prime Minister to “return government property” in a press conference. These crass actions are aimed at diminishing the stature of their main political adversaries in the eyes of their support base. So much for unity. So much for Jubilee.