PRESS STATEMENT BY RT. HON RAILA ODINGA:
JUBILEE TALES STILL DON’T ADD UP:
Yesterday, the Jubilee administration unveiled another layer on top of the State of the Nation address, the State House Summits and the Budget speech to try and convince doubting Kenyans that it has a record worthy of re-election.
Jubilee launched a portal. We wish to point out glaring loopholes in key areas of what Jubilee put out as follows:
Jubilee’s tale in this critical area has never ever added up.
In his 2016 State of the Nation address, the President said that Jubilee had built 3000 kilometres of road.
In this year’s (2017) address, the number came down to 1950km.
In the Budget Speech read a few weeks ago, the roads done came down again to 1500km. During the State Of The Nation address, the President claimed there was 7,000 km of road under construction.
The most recent data published by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics in the annual Economic Survey shows that in 2014 and 2015, the length of tarmacked trunk roads (class A,B,C) increased by only 300km from 7,900km in 2013 to 8,200km in 2015. That is a completion rate of 150km of roads a year.
In 2015, we had a total of 1,019 km of roads under construction. The Economic Survey lists each one of these roads including distance and cost.
The so called delivery portal that his office has just put up claims 2,000 kilometre of “inter-city highways” under construction and another 500 under procurement.
When these highways are completed, they will be only 100km shy of Mombasa to Kisumu (830) plus Namanga to Moyale (970) plus Nairobi to Mandera (800). But there is a huge mystery. Which are cities the highways are connecting? The existing cities, towns and most municipalities for that matter are already connected.
The story of households connected to electricity is marked by the same confusion and contradictions being peddled about roads. As of now, we have five wildly different numbers. The President’s figure is 2.9 million, CS Treasury says it is 3.7 million, the Energy CS says it is 5.5 million, and the Deputy Chief of Staff Nzioki Waita says 5.8m.
The Kenya Power and Lighting Company’s figure is 2.3m. It is worth pointing out that the 5.8 million figure corresponds to the total number of KPLC customers, not households (i.e. domestic) customers as claimed by Mr. Waita. Customers include business premises and institutions, not just homes.
Moreover, it has come to light recently that KPLC staff has been inflating the figure to conform to the Jubilee administration’s targets. The media recently reported that Kenya Power deliberately reported ‘fake’ numbers to meet their targets as a result of pressure from the Jubilee administration to connect one million new customers. An internal audit was reported to have showed that about one million of the connections from the 3.6 million new customers were fake or have never been topped up.
Jubilee says power output has risen by 657 from 1,765 MW in 2013. Yet manufacturers and domestic users are feeling the pinch of frequent electricity outages and power surges.
The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics reports in the 2016 Economic Survey that in 2015 rural electrification connections increased by 174,690 from 528,552 to 703,190. Projecting with this figure suggests that the total number of household connections over the last four years of at best 800,000.
We have noted with dismay, as well as bemusement, the claim by President Kenyatta that our contention that the Government has failed to account for proceeds of the 2014 sovereign bond issue (Eurobond) is unfounded. For quite a while now, President Kenyatta and his government have been telling blatant lies on easily verifiable information. This is truly absurd.
We do note however, that one of the reasons why the Eurobond scandal has refused to go away is the inability to show the projects that were financed with the money.
Kenyans will recall that the Treasury CS reported that Eurobond proceeds amounting to Kshs. 196 billion had been disbursed to ministries for development projects in FY2014/15.
We have maintained that it is not practically possible to absorb that amount of additional money in development projects within a financial year. If this much money had been invested in projects, ongoing and new ones, there would not be enough days in the week for the President to launch them. We need not belabor the President’s project launching challenges. The answer to the phantom projects mystery may be on hand. We have seen the President intimidating the Auditor General at his ill-fated Corruption Summit, followed by numerous clumsy attempts to cripple him or remove him from office.
We have reason to believe that these attacks on the Auditor General are meant to pre-empt the completion of the special audit on the Eurobond. If our allegations are unfounded, why go to such great lengths to obstruct and intimidate the Auditor General? What is Jubilee afraid of?
The Eurobond ghosts are clearly haunting the President.
This has been the home of scandal and old school theft of public funds. Jubilee says it pioneered Management Equipment Service. From the 99 furnished container clinics were sold to the government at an exaggerated cost Sh10 million each to the Ksh5 billion at the Ministry of Health that was enough to buy 16 state of the art cobalt cancer fighting equipment to the forceful leasing diagnostic equipment for Ksh.5b a year to county governments, health sector has been a cash cow for the big boys in Jubilee. Yet the President’s portal sees only sterling achievement.
Jubilee claims that it has issued up to 2.4 million title deeds these past four years. Yet in January, the High Court ruled that over three million land title deeds issued by the Jubilee administration since 2013 were irregularly processed and therefore illegal. The High Court the Ministry of Lands proceeded to prepare lease documents in violation of the law governing land matters by ignoring the input of the National Land Commission (NLC). The Court said the ministry had erred in processing the titles as there were no regulations in place to guide the process in accordance with the Land Registration Act.
Jubilee claims to have engineered a social inclusion project that has seen vulnerable families benefit from a cash transfer programme. The truth is that the cash transfer programme was launched by the Grand Coalition Government. I had the honour as Prime Minister to launch this prgramme in March 2012 at Tononoka grounds in Mombasa targeting Mvita, Likoni, Changamwe and Kisauni in the initial phase where the households Sh2,000 each. The money came from the government of Japan which gave us financial assistance totaling about Sh200 million.
It has been hit by poor communication and questionable and unpredictable payment arrangements. Beneficiaries have no idea on which date they are supposed to get the money, one month you get it, the next month you don’t. Amounts vary, depending on how much bribe you had to part with.
Jubilee spent says it spent Ksh 7.29 billion on Galana-Kulalu Irrigation. There is nothing to show for the billions. As we speak, the Jubilee administration has sent appeals for food aid all over the world. Government reports say that the number of Kenyans facing starvation has risen to 2.7 million in 2017 from 1.7 million last year. Up to three million Kenyans are in need of relief food.
In February, the media reported that the government has approved the import of 5 million bags, or 450,000 metric tons, of yellow maize from Ukraine. The Galana-Kulalu Irrigation Scheme produced ten 90-kilogram bags of maize per acre instead of the 40 bags per acre that was projected. Once again, no value for money.
EASE OF DOING BUSINESS:
We are told there is another portal, the e-citizen online portal to ease doing business in Kenya. That is commendable. But the National Bureau of Statistics also says up to 2.2 million small enterprises closed shop over the last five years. They include Softa Bottling Company, Sameer Africa’s Yana tyres unit, Eveready East Africa, Chocolate maker Cadbury shut down its factory in Nairobi in October 2014. Procter and Gamble and Reckitt Benckiser, among others.
The highest number of establishments shut down was in 2015.
Like the health sector, national security has been the home of old school corruption. As we have bought equipment, we have suffered more attacks than at any one time in our history, thanks to our unending war in Somalia and the corruption in vital sectors of the administration. Jubilee may be banking on Kenyans forgetting fast. But as Opposition, we will not forget.
This is a very inopportune time for the President to make the wild claims he is making. What the President and his administration think they are achieving with the alternative facts remains a mystery. One thing is clear though; the President is struggling to account for his four years in office, the lies have caught up with him and the noose is tightening around his administration