Kenya is our land, made for you and me

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This land is your land, this land is my land
From Karatina, to Kakamega
From Mount Elgon, to the Keringet stream waters
This land was made for you and me

As I was walking a ribbon of highway
I saw above me an endless skyway
I saw below me a golden valley
This land was made for you and me

I’ve roamed and rambled and I’ve followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her beautiful beaches
And all around me a voice was sounding
This land was made for you and me

The sun comes shining as I was strolling
The wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling
The fog was lifting a voice come chanting
This land was made for you and me

As I was walkin’  –  I saw a sign there
And that sign said – no tress passin’
But on the other side  …. it didn’t say nothin!
Now that side was made for you and me!

In the squares of the city – In the shadow of the steeple
Near the relief office – I see my people
And some are grumblin’ and some are wonderin’
If this land’s still made for you and me

The Kenyan Artivist

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With exactly six days to the historic Kenyan General Elections, the first under the new constitution and the largest as far as the number of electoral positions to be filled, six to be exact, I have decided to share with you the reasons why I will not be voting Ferdinand Waititu as the Nairobi Governor and I hope that you can see beyond party affiliations and tribal thinking and join me in sayi NO TO WAITITU..

1. THE DANDORA DUMPSITE

The Dandora Municipal Dump Site, the only dump site in Nairobi is located 8 km away from Nairobi’s Central Business District. The dumpsite has been in place for over thirty years, a direct contravention of international environmental laws, which require that dumpsites be closed down after ten to fifteen years of usage. The site affects Dandora, Kariobangi, Korogocho and Baba Dogo residents with a total population of about 900,000 inhabitants…

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If Kenya Burns….

kenya kwanza…If Kenya burns,then we all burn with it…..
If Kenya burns,then there will be no country left for me to be president to when the time comes,
this dream with die with it….

If Kenya burns,then my grand mother will not live to see her wishes for me fulfilled and that her investiments of sweat,tears and blood in me were never in vain…..
If Kenya burns,then I will have nowhere to build my mother her dream house as a present for her fiftieth birthday,
she deserves this for she has suffered long enough…..

If Kenya burns then my brother Ben will have no hospital where he can practice surgery,
he wants to be a Neuro-surgeon to be precise….
If Kenya burns,then Elizabeth will have no courts to go to and no criminals nor innocently accused persons to defend,
she wants to be an advocate qualified to stand in the supreme court….

If Kenya burns,then Tobby will have no land to till and bring forth food that can feed a whole nation,
he dreams of a country that will give him the chance to put to good use his talent in agriculture and be a leading agriculturalist….

If Kenya burns,then I will never get the opportunity to repay Dorothy for her kindess and her usefulness around the house,

what would I have been doing without her able hands and hardwork…..?
If Kenya burns,then I will have been denied the chance to see what kind of mother Pauline will turn out to be…

If Kenya burns,then I will not live to see Michelle grow into a beautiful girl with big dreams…..
If Kenya burns then I will have no gardens to give a dream wedding to the lady God has for me,
I will not live ro see her give life to the two little beautiful girls:the bundle of Joy that God will give to us…..

If Kenya burns,I will not live to see Jim driving his dream car,my dream of being the best man on his wedding will just be that,a dream……!
If Kenya burns,then what is left….?

My dreams and those of Millions other young people will disintegrate into ashes,into nothing at all……!

So while I am faced by a monumental task on the 4th of March,I realise that I have a bigger even more important obligation to my country and that is to choose peace and co-exsist with all my fellow Kenyans regardless of their tribe,gender,religious or political affiliations.I realise that every Kenyan has more than just a democratic right to choose how and who they want to vote for and live in any part of this country and nurture their dreams just like I do mine…..

So I will not dare raise a finger against a fellow Kenyan,instead I will embrace each one and hold hands to build a better KENYA for the generation of my two beautiful girls who are yet to be born……

I will vote in my own way but I will choose KENYA I will choose PEACE…..!

…..chagua AMANI,chagua KENYA….!

An open letter to my friend and brother the Engineer Michael Waweru

Dear Brother,

Uhoro waku.

I have just finished my morning ritual of going through my facebook and seeing what my friends have posted. This is something I do every morning not just because I am an addict of facebook but also because it is part of my job to see what people are saying about my organization as well as to it. But I will admit it to you that of late I have been keener to see just what Kenyans are saying about the coming elections. I have in particular been following your posts and sometimes even had the chance to do my own posting in support of my prefered presidential candidate and sometimes to comment on your postings.I have enjoyed entering into debates with you realising that such is the beauty of a mature democracy like ours;that you would have the liberty to publically criticise my prefered candidate and I yours.

My friend,this year’s campigns have been long and hard,even difficult to predict . In the heat of it all we have become too passionate about our own beliefs and those of our political parties that sometimes we have forgoten our friendship. We have consciously or unconsciously hulled insults at each other directly or indirectly and have worshipped at the alter of ethnic egos. We have said in public things that should probably never be repeated to our children if we ever dream to bequeath a peaceful country to them. The candidates of our choice (yours and mine) have battled fiecely through the campaigns. But don’t get me wrong this letter is not about them. It is about you and I. It is about Kenya.It is about a resolve to make these coming elections count.

Politics can sometimes be small and silly. In fact I think politics is nothing more than a contest of egos and a domain of special interests by individuals who have an agenda to push.That is why we would go to whatever extent to politic in support of our candidates and often the most egotistic of us proceeds with an edge over of the other.Elections matter more than the myopia of politics. Elections are about change, about democracy, about renewing the hope of a nation, about individual rights and liberty. They are about the dailly bread and butter issues that confront us, like where the next meal will come from, how we will educate our small brothers and sisters, if we will get a job when we graduate or not and if we are secure and safe in our country or not. These issues are real and they confront both you and I. They bite us both with equal sting.That is why we cannot afford to make these coming elections about individuals. No. They should be bigger than that. They should be about Kenya, about our joint future and that of our children and their children.

But most importantly these elections must be about peace and the process of healing, reconciling and uniting our nations so that together we can achieve the dreams of our founding fathers not just for our sake but the sake of the next generation. We cannot afford to go wrong with these elections and if we do then we must be prepared to bear the wrath of an unforgiving future generation. As such our role as citizens will not end with the ballot no matter who wins on the 4th of March. We will still have the responsiblity to uphold peace and sanity. To look beyond the walls and barriers of our ethnic divide and join hands to build this nation that we all love. Elections come and go and so do politicians but when we wake up on the 5th of March we will still have a country needing to be built.It should never be about what can be done for us but what can be done by us as we move forward at thats is why peace before, during and after these election is or collective responsibility. We must NEVER forget that.

You see friend, we are not enemies but friends and though passion may have strained it must never break the bonds of our affection.We have a duty to be united and keep the peace in the same way we do when David Rudisha breaks another record on the track. We forget our tribes and embrace in celebration. We raise our glasses and drink in honour of a brave warrior decorated in Black, White, Green and Red. Such is the true Kenyan spirit and such is the Kenya we must have after 4th of March. Our county has come so far. Remember the 1994 tragedy of Mtongwe ferry,the 1998 bomb blast, the 2001 Kyanguli fire tragedy among many others. We were united in grief through those dark moments of our history. We stood by each other no matter how they name was spelt on their ID cards or where they came from. And those dark moments that united us are far more painful than the lose or the fear of losing an elections. You see Mr. Engineer, we are more united than our politics suggest.We are not just a country of 42 tribes, we are Kenya and we should always dwell in peace, love and unity elections or no elections.

That is why I write to you my friend. To tell that with just over a week to the elections we have to say it is enough. Enough with the hate we spread on social media, enough with the lies we tell about other candidates that breed hateful passion. We have done what we could do as politicians and I am convinced that nothing we do moving forward will change the course for our candidates for at this point they can only win or lose.Simple. Let us now be Kenyans and heal our land. If in the course of these campaign I have said or done something spiteful to you then I beg your forgiveness and I choose to forgive you for any and all things spiteful you may have said and I am convinced that we can work together and rebuild our beloved Kenya.

I still want to journey with you through the forests of Aberdares as we see and appreciate the beauty and splendour of our heritage. I still want have tea with you in a smoky hotel in Ukambani and I still dream of walking you through the rice paddy of Ahero after we have enjoyed a meal of fish and brown Ugali at the foot of Got Alila.Such is the Kenya I want after 4th of March where plenty is found within our boarders.

With love and respect tou your democratic rights to elect your prefered candidate.

Olunga

The Kenyan Artivist

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Dear Kenyans,

I was born in Molo back in 1987.As history has it, Molo has been the centre of ethnic clashes since the multi party democracy system in 1992.Our home in Molo was burnt in 1992, 1997 and in 2008.I spent a good portion of my life in IDP camps with my family and I have seen how politics can ruin lives. Molo is the most cosmopolitan region I know. My neighbors were from all tribes across Kenya and as we grew up, Kiswahili was the mode of communication. In the absence of politics, Molo was the most peaceful place I have known but when electioneering period nears, neighbours turn enemies and hack each other to death. It is my hope and conviction that 2013 will be a different experience and at the villages in Molo, people would sacrifice anything for a peaceful election. We have learnt from the past.

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Your Potential Future Deputy President speak

The new Constitution presents a major break with past as far as the role of the country’s principal deputy executive is concerned. Not only is the future Deputy President identified before the election, his role is well defined by the supreme law of the land.

The changes elevate the position of the Deputy President in a variety of ways, including:

•Serving as Acting President in the temporary absence of the Principal

•Taking over and carrying over for the rest of the term in the event of the death or incapacity of the incumbent

The Deputy President is therefore no longer the ceremonial adornment of old but a functioning integral part of the incoming government.

Presidential Candidates deal with issues

In the previous three parts of this series of articles under the Standard Group’s I Stand for Kenya Campaign, the Presidential Candidates addressed the public at large on the important issues they face.

They responded to questions on unemployment, insecurity and corruption.

President v President

Finally, The Stand campaign will provide a platform for the candidates for the first time to directly address a limited number of questions to each other in writing. The answers will likewise be published for public scrutiny.

Augustine Chemonges

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Since 2004 I have had the privilege and honour of working alongside Martha Karua, when she was Minister for Water and Irrigation and I was appointed to be a Director of the Lake Victoria North Water Services Board. I came to know a dedicated and honest public servant who reformed the water sector despite the challenges of entrenched interests and endemic corruption and that is exactly the type of President that Kenya needs.

Like every parent, I am concerned about the future of my four children. I want to make this country stable, to engender progress in order to have a better Kenya for all of our children. That driving passion for a better Kenya for all is at the centre of who Mart

As many of you will know, we have made integrity, transparency and the implementation of the Kenya’s new Constitution a centrepiece of our campaign.

These are not just soothing words to say on the campaign trail but a testament to our commitment to a Kenya where hope and opportunity abound. Martha Karua has made this a centrepiece of her campaign because impunity and corruption are often the causes of what keeps too many Kenyans in poverty. Corruption is the theft of resources that belong to Kenyan people, it keeps food off plates, medicine out of dispensaries, teachers and nurses on strike and roads in desrepair. Impunity undermines the rule of law as there cannot be two sets of rules for the elites and the rest of Kenyans. It feeds our insecurity by undermining our institutions of law and order. And this is one of the many reasons why Martha Karua is the best choice for president; she recognises the corrosive effect that corruption and impunity have on our society.

As a former civil rights lawyer, and minister for Justice who laid the roadmap for the new constitution, Martha Karua is the best person to be implementing the constitution. Her public declaration of wealth and her refusal to take pay from a Parliament that should have been dissolved already is a perfect illustrator of the type of president she would be and the type of president that this country needs, a president who does not just talk the talk but walks the walk, a president who obeys and implements the constitution in letter and in spirit.

For months, and well before she asked me to be her running mate, I have traversed the country with Martha Karua from Mandera to Narok from Kilifi to Bungoma, I have seen and understood the issues that communities across the country face and I am determined and sure that with Martha Karua as President we can solve them.

To paraphrase President Kibaki, this country is ready to take off, all it needs is the right pilot. Martha Karua is the right pilot. Her record shows it; her commitment to the Kenyan people is absolute and her policies are the right ones for the country, and I know that a Martha Karua presidency would work for the benefit of all Kenyans no matter their tribe, social status, religion or gender, which is why I am honoured to be Martha Karua’s running mate.

ha Karua is and what our presidential ticket is about.

 

Jeremiah Kioni

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As members of the same party, Mr Musalia Mudavadi and I believe in the principles for which UDF stands for and in the face of politics that shut out and divide Kenyans along tribal lines, we believe we can be one people reaching out for what is possible and building a perfect country.

As I have traversed this country with Mudavadi, I have been struck by his humility, integrity and personal concern for the weak and the disadvantaged within our society. I have noted his non-tribal approach to national issues and his commitment to the economic and political development of this country in peace and tranquillity. But above all, I have appreciated his unbending courage under the greatest of odds. I am confident that, in him, this country will find a President without equal. That is why I believe the Amani Coalition presidential team is the best choice for Kenya.

I must reiterate that the greatness of a presidential ticket is measured by the competence, suitability and drive of the candidate for the presidency and by the positions of the party or coalition as expressed in its manifesto. The competence, suitability and drive of Musalia Mudavadi for the presidency cannot be gainsaid.

Mudavadi has a personal manifesto which we at Amani have called his promise to the Kenyan people. Simply put, it states that no single Kenyan should live an undignified life of poverty and squalor. It is, therefore, Mudavadi’s and Amani’s creed to do everything in their power to bring alive this promise.

This is why Mudavadi and Amani maintain that it is wrong for KCPE to be used as an exit sieve that keeps thousands of children out of the school system and consigns them to child labour.

Amani’s position is that our young people should be trained to become creators of jobs and employment. Towards this end, Amani is committed to revamping and refocusing Kenya’s vocational training and the polytechnics which are spread throughout the country. May I point out that this is a vital shift for Kenya because it is the young people, our children, who bear the brunt of growing unemployment.

We in Amani are persuaded that Kenya’s unemployment crisis is essentially a youth crisis. Similarly, we know that thousands of young people who are leaving colleges and universities annually will not get gainful employment if they are not trained to create the jobs and help grow the economy.

This emphasis on young people is not misplaced because as already stated they account for more than half the population of Kenya. Their participation in the economy again fits in well with Amani’s commitment to restructure the economy and make it work for all Kenyans. With a growing economy in which all participate, Kenyans will be able to create wealth throughout the country and create jobs to go around.

In Amani we say that it is jobs that put food on the table; put clothes on our backs and on our children’s backs; that put money in the pockets, in the banks and in projects. But these will not come without investment by both local and international entrepreneurs.

Investment, in turn, will not happen if there is no peace, security and stability in Kenya. It is why this coalition is called Amani which stands for peace and stability and explains why it is committed to ensuring pervasive and 24-security for the people of Kenya, for lives and for property.

This brings me back to the character and beliefs of Mudavadi. He was born and brought up among the people of Omulembe. Mulembe, among Abaluhya is both a greeting and a call to peace. Among Abaluhya a greeting is a manifestation of goodwill. It was, therefore, by design that Mudavadi chose Amani over all other coalitions.

Please permit me to point out that Mudavadi was among the so-called Serena team that negotiated the end to the tense and terrifying stalemate in government that followed the contested results of the 2007 presidential poll. It was these negotiators who brought Kenya back from the brink of disaster and laid foundation for the Grand Coalition government.

Mudavadi is only 52 but he is the most experienced of all the presidential candidates. He has been in government since he was 29. He has served in the key ministries of finance, agriculture, transport and communications, local government, supplies and marketing and, he is a Deputy Prime Minister. He knows government better than his competitors.

What this tells you is that Mudavadi has been tried and tested, he has been prepared for leadership and he is ready to lead. That is why Amani Coalition and Mudavadi are best for Kenya. I am proud to be on this ticket, in this coalition and on this journey for Kenya and Kenyans.

Kalonzo Musyoka

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Every Kenyan knows that I was to be on the ballot for the fourth President of the Republic of Kenya. I evaluated the challenges we face as a nation, the socio-political forces at play and the possible future scenarios we face ahead and counseled myself that, for now, the future of Kenya will be best secured with Raila Odinga as our fourth president. As I have often said, Kenya is bigger than all of us. I therefore subordinated my political ambition to the bigger national interest. Raila has demonstrated more than once that he is guided by the same philosophy as I.

First is his life story. When the history for the struggle for democratization of this country is written, Raila Odinga’s name will feature prominently among the gallant sons and daughters of this our land and nation that faced adversities to create a nation that we, our children and children’s children will be proud to belong to. He stands tall as one of foremost champions of the Kenyan dream. He has been detained a multiplicity of times, his wife and other close relatives hounded out of public service jobs, and his businesses raided, all in the pursuit of building a Kenya that works for all Kenyans. Kenya is at a crossroads.

After two decades of an intense struggle, we finally gave unto ourselves a liberating constitution in 2010. But the Constitution is not an end in itself. It is a means to reforming our politics, reforming our economy and reforming our public institutions. Its full implementation will usher us into a community of progressive, prosperous and democratic nations. As our Constitution bears indelible imprints of Odinga’s efforts, struggles and tribulations, I believe that none of those running for the Office of the President can equal our candidate on the zeal to fully implement the Constitution, reform the police, deepen reforms in the Judiciary, reform the public service and give life and meaning to the Bill of Rights.

Second is his character. I have known and worked with our current Prime minister for over two decades – some time as an ally, other times as an adversary. I can therefore testify without fear of contradiction to his capacity to tolerate the most difficult people and/or situations one can imagine. I have watched him deal patiently with situations where lesser mortals would walk away in defeat or exasperation. I have seen him forgive and embrace his former tormentors or rivals. This capacity to see everything within the parameters of the bigger picture must be the reason the Grand Coalition Government has survived the full term. It is the reason we have teamed together to deliver third and final liberation to this nation in the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD).

The third is his social democratic agenda. Raila Odinga is fully committed to the ideology of social democracy. I worked with him, President Kibaki and other Kenyan leaders in crafting the NARC agenda in 2002. When some people ridiculed our resolve to provide free primary education to our children he was among those who insisted it could be done and had to be done. As CORD, we have presented an even more comprehensive social democratic agenda.

Our Constitution, to which he is so committed that he had come out of a hospital bed to campaign for, is a framework for a social democratic state. We at CORD are committed to giving this a meaning through a universal access to healthcare as we roll out of the National Social Health Insurance Scheme; to cushioning our senior citizens through a universal old age cash transfer scheme; to expanding cash transfers for the urban poor and orphans and vulnerable children; to progressive land reforms and; to free secondary education among others. These and other economic and social rights are dear to our presidential flag bearer.

As a social democrat, Raila Odinga knows that “tax-and-spend” policies are not sustainable. He knows that a thriving economy must be built on the foundation of hard work, enabling business environment and technology and innovation. That is why he made the improvement of infrastructure his focus, both as the minister for roads in the NARC government and as prime minister of the Republic. Their partnership with President Kibaki on this enterprise has yielded the outcomes we can all see. He is committed to continue with this as president. His current focus on jobs, jobs and more jobs is anchored on the understanding that economic growth and welfare must be based on a productive society. He also understands why emerging technological solutions must be used to address agriculture for food security. That is why, among other major initiatives, he spearheaded efforts to attract investment in irrigation like the Todonyang Irrigation Scheme.

I commend Raila Odinga to Kenyans.

William Samoei Ruto

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I am absolutely delighted to be campaigning with my fellow Jubilee Coalition leaders to be elected by the people of Kenya to the highest offices in our great country.

This coalition has brought together four of the most prominent and forward-thinking political parties in the country, overcoming historic tribal differences to unite on a common platform of peace, unity, development and the generational revolution Kenya so greatly needs.

I have come together with my good friend Uhuru Kenyatta, leader of The National Alliance, my sister Charity Ngilu, head of the National Rainbow Coalition, and my brother Najib Balala, leader of the Republican Congress, to fight for progress for all Kenyans.

We share the vision of a future Kenya in which prosperity and opportunity is experienced by all its citizens. For the hard working, industrious and educated people of this country, no dream held by any child should ever be considered out of sight.

It will take time to change our country – progress never comes easy. But when it is achieved, it will be real and it will be felt in the lives of millions of Kenyans.

I have pledged, alongside my fellow Jubilee coalition leaders, to end the bitter story of the two “Kenyas” that my brother Uhuru spoke so eloquently of at the launch of our joint manifesto last week. For too long a majority of our countrymen have been forced to stand by and watch a minority among them enjoy wealth and opportunity beyond their imagination while they fight and scrape every day to put food on their family table and see their children receive a basic education.

No more. If a Jubilee government is elected on March 4, we will lead Kenya to a new reality. A new dawn.

We will jumpstart our economy by further opening ourselves to foreign investment and seeking opportunities for partnership with businesses in the private sector. Kenya is in a unique position to become one of the primary economic powerhouses of Africa. To do so, we must expand our manufacturing and agricultural sectors to transform our economy from one which imports most of its goods to one which primarily exports high-quality Kenyan products.

We understand that our greatest potential as a country lies in our ability to unleash the entrepreneurial spirit of our young people and give them the tools to flesh out their ideas, innovate technologies, build businesses and succeed in our economy. To that end, we will found a Youth Enterprise Capital Fund and grant it Sh20 billion per year to invest in start-up or expanding businesses run by young people.

Our land reform policy will also enable all Kenyans, including our youth, to gain credit and capital to build homes and set up or expand small businesses. This will be made possible by granting ordinary Kenyans title deeds to plots of public land in their communities which have, to this point, been left unused or mismanaged.

Aside from helping to infuse new life and possibilities into our economy, this will carry the benefit of empowering millions of Kenyans who would not otherwise have had the means to purchase their own land. It will also help ease tensions in communities that have been wracked by land disputes.

Security will be a main priority of our government because we cannot hope to sustainably grow our economy or develop social services if our citizens are not kept safe and secure from both outside and homegrown threats.

Terrorists, cattle rustlers, drug peddlers, murderers and rapists will be expressly targeted by our security policies, among the toughest in the world.

We will increase our domestic police force by 15,000 per year and improve their working conditions and pay. We will motorise our force in every ward and install streetlights and other infrastructure necessary to deter crime in our cities and towns.

We will combat lawlessness and ethnic tensions in our rural communities by setting up a Security Border Force, expressly tasked with securing our national borders from terrorism and providing a deterrent to cattle rustling and ethnic flare ups.

In our first 100 days we have pledged to pass legislation that will immediately tackle and remove barriers to our development by greatly improving maternal health and the affordability of public health centres, improving access to secondary education and training and giving each of our nation’s children a laptop, opening to them the doors to tomorrow.

This election day, Kenyans will have the opportunity to vote for the Jubilee Coalition and thereby choose the path of progress, development, innovation and equality.

 

Ronnie Osumba

Osumba

I am tired of waiting for tomorrow

Since when I was a small boy, the youth of Kenya have been told time and again that they are the leaders of tomorrow. We have waited for far too long and now I am tired of waiting for tomorrow. For me, as we head to the election on March 4, tomorrow has already come. And this time round, Kenyans are faced with a choice between status quo and real change. I have decided to choose real change and make the next 5 years count.

I will vote for Peter Kenneth. I will vote for Peter Kenneth because I am convicted that he is the best candidate to take this country forward. It is unacceptable that we have yet to liberate our people from poverty, disease and ignorance, 50 years after independence. So this time round, I will not be voting for the same; I will vote right. I will vote to give every Kenyan child a chance to access quality education that will prepare him to live up to his full potential. I will vote to assure every Kenyan mother, whether urban or rural, of access to affordable and quality healthcare to stop the unnecessary loss of lives to our people. I will vote to unlock Kenya’s potential and build a united nation to which we can all be proud to belong.

Peter Kenneth is a man who has demonstrated a difference from the rest of the political class. He was the first member of the 9th Parliament to voluntarily pay tax, to stand against the watering down of the integrity bill and to oppose the proposed hefty send-off package for MPs. He has demonstrated himself as a hardworking Kenyan who espouses the values of integrity, commitment and service attributes that are lacking in many people seeking high office. Peter Kenneth is not by individual interests; he is driven by his passion to see a better Kenya that guarantees everyone a chance to prove their worth. He has completely steered off the path of the destructive tribal arithmetic and political expediency that has characterized our politics, instead choosing to pursue a path of offering service and leadership to the people of Kenya.

Wherever he has travelled, Peter has demonstrated his superior leadership and management capacity. In the use of CDF funds, his Gatanga Constituency has been ranked best as has his Ministry of Planning and Vision 2030. He has an impressive record career in the financial sector, which culminated in his position as Managing Director of Kenya Re. He has proven to be capable, trustworthy and dependable with the responsibilities he has been entrusted with previously and I know that the presidency will be no different.

Kenneth represents a break from the past. He is not a child of privilege but like myself, he was born and raised in rather difficult circumstances, educated through charity and has worked his way to the point where he can seek to lead this country. His personal experiences in his childhood and young adulthood have given him a good understanding of the struggles of ordinary Kenyans. He knows what poverty is and that’s why he is keen to ensure that we lift our people from poverty. That is why when others are keen to demonstrate their showmanship; Peter is concerned about finding solutions to the problems affecting the Kenyan people. He refuses to be drawn into personality and ethnic focused politics recognising that the problems that affect Kenyans are similar. He chooses instead to focus on issues and solutions to the problems that affect ordinary Kenyans.

I will vote for Kenneth because I am tired of waiting for tomorrow. Tomorrow has come.

The Kenya National Congress ticket of Peter Kenneth and Ronald Osumba is the best for this country at this time. We provide hope for a generation that is at the brink of hopelessness driven by general poor state of the economy occasioned by years of continued failed leadership. Ours is to break from the past and guarantee every Kenyan that they can rise from nothing to something. We are both where we are today because of the opportunity we were given that lifted us from our humble backgrounds and placed us on a path to success.

Most importantly, we have little experience in the corrupting influences of power and impunity within government. We are therefore well positioned to tackle the challenges posed by corruption and impunity. Our ticket is founded very strongly on the shared values of integrity and self-discipline that will enable us to confront these challenges. Furthermore, through our commitment to the equitable distribution of resources across all counties, we are the best ticket to unite Kenyans against any manner of division that are the result of myopic politics over the years. Peter Kenneth and I are Kenyan first and we present the best choice for the presidency. Come March 4, vote right so that together we can make the next five years count.

 

Shem J Ochuodho

shem

Once again, the elections are here and the political noise is deafening. Political parties are out to outdo each other, with presidential candidates trying to portray themselves as latter day saints to Kenyans. Though this is the 11th election since independence, nothing has changed; same old faces giving the same insincere promises that will be broken immediately the results are announced. As usual, Kenyans will soon after start lamenting.

People are baffled at why Safina joined the already overcrowded field so late in the day. Truth be told, Safina was the first party to nominate its presidential flag bearer and launch its manifesto in 2011. What we offer with humility is a refuge.

Fifty years after independence, Kenya is yet to achieve its potential. This failure can be directly attributed to the poor leadership. A Safina government promises true reforms and all-inclusive development. Anchored firmly on the tenets of social economic justice, a Safina government will strive to empower the bulk of Kenyans at the bottom of the social chart as opposed to previous regimes that have concentrated on the top one per cent.

Three-quarters of Kenyans rely on the land, yet two-thirds of the country is semi arid. As the authentic Digital Party, Safina will introduce mechanized agriculture as the cornerstone of our development. This is very feasible; although Israel is a desert, they are not only food secure but have extra to export to other countries including Kenya.

In support of agriculture, for each shilling spent on building roads, two will be spent on harvesting rainwater to irrigate the land.

Thereafter, the produce will be processed to add value before exporting and consequently creating jobs.

Having consistently agitated for reforms, Safina shall faithfully implement Chapter 4 on the Bill of Rights. This will ensure delivery of socio-economic rights. Top of the agenda will be food security and provision of universal free education from nursery to university.

Since health is a major concern, Safina will strive to improve our nation’s health by militating against the devastating effects of diseases like HIV/Aids, diabetes, cancer and malaria. This will be done by concentrating on preventive measures such as providing treated mosquito nets to control malaria, which is a leading cause of death among children. The budget expenditure on health will be raised to 15 per cent in line with the Abuja Convention to expand access and quality.

We shall grow the national cake by creating jobs to make people productive. Nevertheless, to avoid wastage of public funds, Safina shall run a lean government. Retrenchment will not be the first recourse, but when necessary, the affected will be counseled and a safety net provided to cushion them.

Wastage will be reduced and spending tilted from the prevailing 80 per cent recurrent versus 20 per cent development budget to 40 per cent recurrent and 60 per cent developmental expenditure.

Safina shall undertake a thorough scrutiny of the public debt register to evaluate this strangling burden of over Sh50,000 on every Kenyan including the newly born. This is because Safina believes most of these loans were fraudulently used. For example, about Sh10 billion was borrowed to extend the country’s railway grid. Unfortunately, though every Kenyan coughs up for repayment inclusive of interest, not a single kilometer of rail has been added since the early 1900s.

A loan was allegedly taken to build a fertilizer manufacturing plant. Though Kenyans repay this loan year after year, there is no plant to show for it.  Likewise, Kenyans continue paying dearly for non-existent ICT projects like the Police Communication Equipment and the Postal Corporation’s VSAT system.

The Safina government will stop the repayments and get the perpetrators to refund what has been wrongly paid. This will create great savings, as a substantial portion of our recurrent expenditure goes towards repaying these questionable loans.

A Safina government will strive to create decent jobs for the youths as opposed to the menial work currently offered. This will be done through the implementation of the Science, Technology and Innovation Act, which calls for two per cent of recurrent expenditure to be spent on innovation and technology. This was mooted five years ago by AU Heads of State, and Rwanda implemented four years ago. Innovation and technology hold the key to creation of decent jobs that will jumpstart the economy and pave the way towards sustainable development.

Winnie Kaburu

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The key to democratic governance is economic development, peace and stability. To establish a democratic society, we need visionary leaders who are committed, selfless accountable and well-informed across all sectors of society and who have the fortitude to usher our nation through the transition to full democracy.  Professor James Ole Kiyiapi is such a leader.

Prof, as he is fondly known, represents the cumulative aspirations and interests of all Kenyans. Born 51 years ago in an environment mired with many challenges, James did not have a standard beginning in life. Unlike his contemporaries, he could not read or write until the age of 11 when he started school.

When he got the opportunity to go to school, he dove right in and worked very hard eventually going on to obtain his PhD from the University of Toronto at the tender age of 31. He achieved what seemed impossible for a Maasai herdsman in the space of 20 years

Before he joined government as a Permanent Secretary, James taught environmental sciences at Moi University for 15 years, rising from a junior lecturer to full professor. He served as a Permanent Secretary for 5 years. His tenure as a public servant gave him an intimate knowledge of the workings of government.

He turned round the three ministries where he has worked and will no doubt transform the civil service into a catalyst that will propel Kenya to peace, stability and prosperity.

The professor possesses the tough decision-making skills to promote strategic change and a spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship that is needed to propel our country to the next level in terms of development.

His understanding of the bureaucracy has enabled him to drive the change agenda. The milestone reforms he carried out in the ministries within which he served are a testament to his principled and reformative leadership capacity.

He is committed to the protection of personal and human freedoms, and his policies will empower civil society and protect the environmental commons. His ability to listen, dialogue and establish compromise among disparate interest groups in society will enable him to achieve this. A Kiyiapi government will deliver security for all Kenyans, enforce the rule of law, promote education and health and provide a framework conducive to economic growth. He has carefully assessed the issues of our time and will facilitate commerce by ensuring effective channels of operation.

Professor Kiyiapi is committed to providing Kenyans with a sense of belonging to a national enterprise of which everyone can be proud. His choice of the first female running mate in Kenya is a demonstration of his all rounded leadership qualities.

This is what good leadership is truly about; not only doing a good job, but motivating and inspiring others to leadership as well. I believe Professor Kiyiapi will help Kenya to take her place as a leader in Africa and the rest of the globe.

One of Professor’s key philosophies is that economic growth and democratic governance go hand in hand.

One cannot prioritise one’s political responsibilities at the expense of the economic and social cost to society. He is consequently always conscientious about providing a framework for participation by engaging the most competent in society to come up with solutions to the challenges our nation faces. It is my great joy and honour in the spirit of service to our nation to pledge my admiration and support for Professor James Ole Kiyiapi.

 

 

 

the politics of development

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I found this week’s lecture and discussions which focused on ‘Democracy and Democratization’ very stimulating. Per the insight I got from the lecture, this blogs documents my uneasiness with respect to the exaggerations that always accompanies Ghana’s democratic progress.

Ghana’s democratic process has been described by many as the ‘beacon of hope’, ‘a touch bearer’ or ‘an example’ for other African countries in terms of consolidating democracy. President John Mahama is quoted to have said: ‘Over the past 20 years, Ghana’s democracy has become a beacon of hope for the entire African continent and in the process, drawn useful lessons for the rest of the world’. While there is some truth to this, we will be getting way ahead of ourselves if we assume a position of contentment or even term what we have now as a consolidated democracy.

Some learning points could…

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