Friends, it is my great pleasure to welcome you to the launch of the joint manifesto of The National Alliance, The United Republican Party, the National Rainbow Coalition and the Republican Congress Party of Kenya.
When we launched our coalition We promised to go to the people and seek their view on the content of this manifesto in keeping with our motto tuna amini kusema na kutenda we have done just that.
Unlike others, our manifesto is not a dormant and lifeless write-up destined for safe storage away from wananchiâ€™s scrutiny. Rather, it is a living document whose evolution is set to benefit from the contribution of every Kenyan.
We believe in the spirit of our people, their ability, their hope and desire for a better future and their commitment to this future if given the opportunity.
The Jubilee Coalition has come together because we believe in Kenya.
We stand here united by vision and united for our country. We know the challenges our people face are great but we know that the opportunities for Kenya are greater still.
We stand together to give our people that opportunity to make themselves as good as they can be
I want to take a moment to tell you how this Coalition came into being.
The Jubilee Coalition was not founded as a political outfit, on the contrary it, was born in the process of seeking a lasting solution to the violence that has wracked our nation so often in the past.
Mistrust, frustration and anger has too often led to violence as different communities, worried about their future, have fought each other over resources and access to power. More often than not, this has been fuelled by politicians in their quest for political office and power.
Since the advent of multiparty politics elections in 1992, we have seen a cycle of violence that has led to death and destruction of property peaking every five years. The most serious occurrence of this violence was witnessed in 2007/8 when over 1,300 Kenyans lost their lives and over 300,000 were forced to flee their homes. The trauma of this cycle of violence has dominated our national dialogue ever since. This violence must end. Our nation must heal, our people must come together, with the realisation – that as difficult as it may seem – we need each other. The solution should be obvious to all â€“ we must learn to live with one another, trust one another, to respect one another as Kenyans, love one another.
This year marks 50 years since the birth of our nation – this is our jubilee year. As the Bible tells us the year of the Jubilee is the year of healing and forgiveness. It is the year of renewal.
My brother William Ruto and I were once on opposite sides but we agreed to put our differences aside and come together as leaders to end this cycle of violence and bring enduring peace, this has been our Jubilee journey. We met with the leadership of our two communities, elders and youth, in private to allow them to speak freely about the issues that have led to the violence.
These meetings grew, and led to others, and then to public rallies where we prayed together and publicly asked the communities to forgive one another and to move on, to respect one another and not, ever, slip back to the dark days of violence.
The overwhelming support we received in this endeavour is manifested in the fact that people returned to their land and were welcomed back, the businesses that had closed down were reopened and communities have started to mend the bridges and repair the relationships that were fractured as a result of the violence.
It was in the process of achieving these milestones that a political alliance was forged, not with the interest of power, but built on the common understanding and commitment to build a united country. We do not imagine that we can dispel all ethnic animosity and violence over night, but we must stay the course – because we believe in Kenya.
We believe in Kenya – That is the spirit in which the new constitution was adopted.
Our nation has made progress in implementing that constitution, strengthening the rule of law and reforming the judiciary over the last few years. As the Jubilee Coalition we shall continue to lend our unwavering support to these reforms that are so vital to peace and stability in our country. That peace and stability has been tested in the past – often times needlessly. I do not intend to continue to discuss our nation solely in the context of the challenges that it has faced, instead I propose to offer solutions that will create opportunities that will help us overcome our difficulties.
We need to break with the past.
It is now time to consign the days of strife to history. That is why we formed this coalition. We know that we have created the right team, to not only make Kenyaâ€™s Vision 2030 a reality, but also to deliver accelerated economic growth, higher living standards, and more jobs. Most importantly, the Coalition is dedicated to radically address the inexcusable poverty and inequality that exists in our country today.
The Jubilee Coalition is more than a political grouping; it is a national movement for peace, unity, development and transformative leadership for the people of Kenya.
Kenya has arrived at a turning point in her history. It is the time to fully embrace our destiny, the time to rededicate ourselves to the task of nation building and to the pursuit of the promise that hard work, discipline and action will bring â€“ A life of prosperity, dignity, peace, harmony and plenty within our borders.
IT IS TIME TO RENEW KENYA!
A renewed Kenya where we celebrates our diverse cultures and history
A renewed Kenya where we forge a new future of peace, unity and tolerance.
A renewed Kenya where we shed our history of ethnic tension and social division
A renewed Kenya where all of us irrespective of who we are, whatever our ethnic or religious identity, whether men or women, whether we are young or old, put our country first-
That is the future we aim to build – a place where we all live as one nation and one people. Ladies and gentlemen, we will build on the successes in economic growth seen in recent years under his Excellency President Kibakiâ€™s Government, through the building of infrastructure such as roads, fibre optic cables, electricity and water supplies – the President has delivered vast improvements in our nationâ€™s hardware. However, our mission is to ensure that every Kenyan shares in that growth. Our mission is to build our nationâ€™s software. The measure of our success will not just be how much wealth we create but also how many benefit from it.
We all talk of unity, umoja â€“ but that needs to be more than just a word, if we as Kenyans are to build the kind of society that we want our children to inherit it must become a way of life. A society where every citizen, whoever they are, wherever they live, will have the same opportunity to succeed and prosper, free of discrimination-open or hidden.
Our Coalition is a symbol of the change we will bring to Kenya. That change must transform the lives of ordinary Kenyans by giving them the means to help themselves, empowering them to make the choices they want about their own lives.
In order to do so, there are serious issues that we must address. First and foremost among these is the land question. It has been the running sore that has poisoned relations between communities, prompting suspicion and driven dispute and even been used to politically attack me as an individual.
While our opponents seek short-term political advantage we seek to provide long-term solutions.
Land is always seen as a source of problems in Kenya â€“ when it can instead be the tool we use to create wealth and opportunity for all Kenyans. The time has come to settle this issue, to end the discord and argument.
For too long in Kenya we have talked about the Land Question â€“ now we need to find the Land Answer.
Fellow Kenyans please allow me to dwell on this subject for a while.
You all know that when the Colonial Government established itself in Kenya it created 3 categories of land ownership. First was the land taken by the Colonial Government for its own use which was called Crown Land, second was the land given to settlers as private land and lastly what remained was assigned to Africans as Native Reserves. Back in 1954 under the Swynnerton Plan some Native Reserves saw a process of adjudication, consolidation and registration that gave titles to Africans. At independence our Government inherited Crown Land and renamed it Government land, today this accounts for 13% of the countryâ€™s total land mass. Native Reserves became trust land vested in local county councils.
Even after independence the settlers kept their land under private title, or sold it to Africans on a â€˜willing buyer, willing sellerâ€™ basis. And today private land is something bought & sold like any other commodity â€“ altogether that private land accounts for 20% of our country.
Land in those Reserves that were not adjudicated and given back to Africans is now called Community Land under the new Constitution and is to be managed by the National Land Commission. This category of land presently accounts for about two-thirds, 67% of the total land in Kenya.
My fellow Kenyans,
Each one of these categories of land carries its own problems.
Government land has often been poorly used and managed. As trustee of the nationâ€™s assets, the Jubilee Government will reform its management and ensure that it is used in the public interest and for the benefit of all Kenyans.
The second category of land, private land â€“ suffers from subdivision & fragmentation leading to smaller and smaller parcels being passed on to new buyers or successive generations. This has meant that in some parts of the country land parcels have become so small that they are no-longer viable for agriculture. The long-term economic consequence is that farmers can no-longer support themselves or their families. In urban areas overcrowded informal settlements or slums have grown and this trend is now being reflected even in densely populated rural areas.
As a government, we will provide wider economic opportunities â€“ so that people, especially in rural areas, do not feel that the only way they can make a living is tilling ever-smaller parcels of land using a jembe and a panga. We aim to reverse the process of fragmentation and instead institute a process of reconsolidation that will create viable land holdings.
While our policies will be deliberate the process of reconsolidation will be voluntary and driven by the availability of better opportunities across the country. And we will build spinal infrastructure such as roads, rail, water supplies and electricity to support new local centres where people can live and work.
Our programme for skills, training and economic development will ensure that a life on the land, using modern, mechanized farming methods is a matter of choice not one of necessity â€“ as we give new alternatives for the youth to earn a living.
My fellow Kenyans, let me now turn to Community land.
Today, 60 years after the Swynnerton Plan was initiated 67% of land in Kenya has still not been adjudicated and has no title. It is community land but those communities who live on it have no real rights. The only thing we have done is to change the name of that category of land and the bureaucracy, that from time to time is responsible for its management. The truth is that there has been no fundamental attempt to answer the land question in Kenya since Swynnerton. For too long the land debate has been about a small fraction of the land while the fact that two thirds of our country is untitled has remained unnoticed and never part of the debate. The new Constitution recognizes that there is a problem but it does not provide a solution. My Government will be committed to finally giving the Land Answer.
People living on community land suffer disadvantages not suffered by people living on their own land â€“ they cannot unlock commercial value of that land, public bodies are hampered from providing services as it is effectively no-manâ€™s land, individuals cannot invest & develop the land as they do not no whether one day they maybe moved on. This Insecurity means they cant invest, even on their own housing. Above all
â€“ they canâ€™t raise capital or seek investment from others. We have turned them into squatters on their own land – they are condemned to poverty â€“ living in a kind of economic limbo, while those who have private titles are able to get credit, invest in their land and consequently enjoy the phenomenal rise in value that we continue to witness.
The existence of these different categories of land, private & community has led to skewed development across the country, with millions missing out on the benefits.
Giving these people the right to own the land they live on will increase food production, create more investment, improve housing & health outcomes â€“ it would allow individuals to take charge of their own lives, rely on their own efforts, it would minimize disputes over ownership between individual, families & communities. My Government will be committed to giving people the title to their own land â€“ 60 years after Swynnerton Kenyans deserve to have that process completed.
We will do this not just in rural areas but also in urban areas where informal settlements abound.
When we look at the slums in our great cities we see poverty, but it is time we saw the opportunities to generate wealth that lies there-in.
Take any slum, take Kibera, which has become famous for the depth of its poverty â€“ visitors to our country are often taken to Kibera to see levels of deprivation & erosion of human dignity that its resident bear. Yet, Kibera is some of the most valuable land in Nairobi â€“ rough estimates of its value put the worth of area of land in Kibera at over KSH 60 billion â€“ people of are literally walking over KSH 60 billion which they own â€“ yet they have been denied by their politicians the chance of unlocking that wealth because they have been denied the title to their land. My Government will be committed to giving them the title to that land which is the key to unlocking KSH60bn for the people of Kibera! It will be the responsibility of my Government to help organize the people of Kibera so that the community who own this land can reap its benefits â€“ perhaps through local societies or community trusts or directly as property owners. My Government will work with the people of Kibera who will be the owners of the land they live on, and with financiers & developers to put up decent, high rise, high value homes and businesses, which the people of Kibera will own themselves and no- one else. We will transform a slum into a thriving new community â€“ without a single eviction or compulsory demolition! This is the model we intend to use in other areas where people live in slums.
With regard to the issue of squatters â€“ my Government will give them rights to land aswell, but we will work through the law and with owners of this land to find appropriate compensation mechanism for them. This will allow us to adjudicate the rights of squatters so that they have firm title too. For all those Kenyans who have been displaced whether by violence or by Government policy on forest conservation or inter-ethnic conflict and have waited to long for their pleas to be answered â€“ we hear you and our Government will accelerate and complete the resettlement efforts that are currently underway.
To complete my programme on land reform we are committed to digitizing & decentralizing the land registry, to scrap search fees & other fees imposed by land tribunals. I believe that government services for land should be free to the people of Kenya, the Government should not place unnecessary roadblocks and obstacles to people doing transactions over their own land.
I have taken time to give this matter the consideration it deserves. I donâ€™t want to score cheap political points, indeed I welcome other ideas that will help resolve this issue from whatever source they come. Land was the basis on which the war of independence was waged â€“ it is too serious a matter to be become a political football, too much blood has been shed in this country for that.
Politicians, especially those seeking the highest office in the land, should not use it as a stone to throw at one another. This issue requires serious, steady consideration and judgment and answers designed to provide a long-term solution not short-term political advantage.
Ladies and gentlemen, the last 10 years has seen extraordinary change in Kenya â€“ just a walk round Nairobi can show you that, construction is taking place on every corner, new cars crowd the streets and new malls are full of busy shoppers. A new generation has embraced technology and made our country a high tech leader in Africa. But there is another Kenya â€“ one that is not shining, one where people struggle every day to feed their families, sometimes going hungry themselves so that their children can eat.
In this other Kenya the last decade has not been so bright: a generation has grown up never knowing the dignity and sense of self-worth that a job brings. In this other Kenya when the rains have failed to come people have lost their lives and livelihoods. In this other Kenya mothers have seen their children die from diseases that we learnt to cure decades ago and Kenyans have had to suffer the indignity of queuing for relief food in order to survive.
So two Kenyas have grown up side by side.
We have built islands of wealth in a sea of poverty, gated communities guarded by armies of security guards looking out over slums where a lost generation of young people feel that they have been forgotten by the country they love.
In villages far beyond the end of the tarmac, there has seemed to be no alternative to the life, people have lived for a thousand years, struggling to survive, hoping to raise enough cattle or grow enough food to feed their families.
We cannot go on like this any more. The task of the next Government is to build One Kenya, One Kenya where all our citizens have the opportunities to move ahead and to take control of their lives. The role of government is to provide basic services such as spinal infrastructure, to keep its people safe, to administer justice and provide a social safety net. But beyond this, our duty is to empower individuals, families & communities, to enforce the rules of fairness & to give all Kenyans a chance to thrive & excel.
The scourge of poverty and unemployment still stalks our nation, robbing millions of hope. Over 70% of young people in Kenya do not have jobs. We need to create the jobs for our people, jobs for our youth and securing them will be my first task as President.
We want to see a society where people are able to get jobs, that enhance the dignity of the individual & allows them to provide for their family, creating self reliant individuals who can engage with society rather than waiting for handouts.
In order to do that we need a serious government that puts in place the economic foundations for growth. 10 years ago our nationâ€™s budget was barely KSH 200 billion a year, today it stands at over KSH 1 trillion and 95% of what we spend comes from here in Kenya. That is a sign of what we can do, of what we can become as a nation â€“ strong and selfreliant, doing things for ourselves not looking to others, to do it for us. Today we have the opportunity to rebuild the Kenyan economy so that it is fit to compete in the world. Our policies are designed to allow Kenyans of all ages, economic backgrounds and communities to take part in the effort to build that economy. Through these policies this Coalition will enable, inspire and equip all Kenyans to stand tall and reclaim their dignity. Our government will be growth-led, focused on creating jobs for the millions of young people without work. These will be real jobs with real prospects for their future.
Kenya must be at the heart of the growing East African economy, exporting goods to our neighbours and across the world. We need to attract new investors, both domestic and international, who will help create a manufacturing base that can employ our youth and give them the skills they need to get ahead in life.
Why is it that Kenyans spend billions of shillings a year on imported goods and services, such as televisions, fridges and cars when so many of our people are unemployed?
Why is it that other countries around the world who 50 years ago were no wealthier than Kenya are now economic powerhouses?
Why is it that in South Korea the youth and women receive training and support so that they can bid for government contracts â€“ while here they struggle to even open the door to banks? We can no longer afford to hobble through high taxes, excessive bureaucracy and corruption. We must seize the chance offered by the start of this â€˜The African Centuryâ€™ to remake ourselves as an African Lion economy.
By building industries here at home we can create the kind of economy that will generate 5 million new jobs over the next 5 years. We must grow Kenyan industry, both small and large, attracting foreign while mobilizing domestic resources, adding value to our products and mechanizing agriculture and improving access to markets for agricultural produce.
Our promises are based on an understanding of the problems we face and a determination to deliver real results for every Kenyan.
We do not claim that this will be easy, but to those who say we cannot achieve our objectives I say that we cannot afford not to try. For too long we have watched the hopes and dreams of Kenyans turn to despair and then turned to violent ends. Our coalition will not stand idly by and watch the dreams of more Kenyans destroyed.
That is why we, in our year of Jubilee, the year of renewal, pledge to transform Kenya into a nation of hope and opportunity.
The goal of the Jubilee Coalition is an independent Kenya with a self- reliant people. My Government will be committed to policies designed to give Kenya its place in the world, as a leader in Africa, and a partner around the globe.
Africa is at the cusp of a rebirth – a renewal that for the first time since the Europeans arrived sees our continent driving the world economy. As recession bites across Europe and the West and costs rise in China and the East the world is at last turning its attention to Africa. Last year 8 out of the top 10 fastest growing economies in the world were to be found in Africa.
Ladies and gentlemen,
This provides us with a tremendous opportunity to transform the fortunes of millions of ordinary people across the continent, not least here at home in Kenya. It also gives us the strength to make our own choices and decisions about our future.
Kenya has long been a friend of the West, and we will always be but the world has become a global market place and Kenya must find its place if we are not just to survive but to grow and prosper. Kenya can and must retain its old friendships but we must forge new ones as well.
In this the 50th year of our independence we must have the faith in our own energies, creativity and talent to make our own choices. Why did our fathers and mothers struggle for independence if not to give us the opportunity to seize this moment? This can be the African Century â€“ Kenyaâ€™s Century – but only if we have the courage to rely on our own abilities not just as individuals but also as a nation.
When men and women come together in the future to write the history of this time, what will they say of our choices? Will they say that Kenyans turned away from facing down our challenges and sought shelter in the arms of others or will they record that we seized this moment and came of age?
Will they say that we chose this moment to renew our country or that we left our burdens on the shoulders of our children?
I believe that the Kenyan people will make the right choice, for themselves, their families and their country. And I believe that the Jubilee Coalition will be ready to answer their call when they do.
We in Jubilee have audaciously re-imagined a brand new Kenya. We have dared to dream afresh.
In keeping with our motto tuna amini kusema na kutenda, we have already made plans to act on day one to start transforming Kenya. In the first 100 days of the Jubilee Government we will take measures to make Kenya a fairer, healthier and better educated country.
One – We will release the money that has already been allocated to stock local health centres and dispensaries with the drugs and equipment necessary to treat Kenyans when they fall ill.
Two – We will abolish the fees that are currently charged when Kenyans go to public dispensaries and health centres for treatment.
Three – We will abolish all charges for women giving birth at public hospitals
Four – We will pass legislation to ensure that no child is out of school or a training institution until they reach the age of 18
Five – We will provide every child entering standard 1 in primary school with a solar powered laptop. We shall sustain this programme for each succeeding year until the day when every child in the country will walk with a satchel and a laptop.
These are things that we can do quickly â€“ they are in effect a promisory note on the change that we will deliver as a Government. Beyond this, to truly change our country for the better we need a comprehensive legislative agenda.
When Parliament meets for the first time I will present the National Assembly and Senate with a detailed Programme of Government that will outline the Bills I want them to pass in order to implement the policy agenda outlined in this manifesto.
On March 4th we will begin our voyage to reach the New Kenya.
For those Kenyan who vote for me â€“ and equally for those who donâ€™t â€“ we will work tirelessly for the next 5 years to earn your respect, your trust, and your faith. I understand I will be judged by what I accomplish for you, and not by what I have simply promised.
The mistakes of the past will not be repeated, and at the end of my Presidency I will welcome that judgment.
The journey maybe long
The tides maybe against us at times
The waves maybe high and dangerous
But our course will be true
We have but only one choice, do we go forward or back?
Do we embrace hope and change and sail on or do we cling to fear and division?
I believe that however treacherous the seas, the Kenyan people know the way that they must take I believe that with Godâ€™s grace, and with the strength, ingenuity and the determination of our people we will safely arrive at our journeyâ€™s end.
The burden of carrying Kenya forward has fallen on the shoulders of the Jubilee generation.
We have the drive to take Kenya forward
We have the vigour and strength to carry Kenya forward
We have the ideas and innovations to see us through
We are ready to work
We can make it because we believe
Yes, I believe in Kenya!
Good Bless you and God bless the Republic of Kenya.