As Kenyans usher in the New Year, the country’s political leadership have set in motion their agenda for the next 12 months. While President Uhuru Kenyatta has outlined plans to deliver on his development agenda, the opposition National Super Alliance (Nasa), is determined to continue with its push for electoral reforms.
The Opposition has promised to unveil a programme for “civil disobedience, peaceful protests, non-cooperation with and resistance to an illegitimate regime in addition to people’s assemblies.”
Nasa leader Raila Odinga has maintained that he plans to move on with what he calls civil disobedience. In his New Year message to Kenyans, Uhuru dealt at length on what he termed as “ Big Four Plan” which will define his legacy as he embarks on his second and last term in office.
The Head of State said: “The trust that we have been given as leaders is a sacred one. It was given to build, to deliver development, to concretely improve the lives of your people.”
Uhuru said his administration would seek to create better jobs and make institutions of learning produce young people ready to work in multiple trades in the manufacturing sector. He said his government would invest in agriculture in an ambitious and innovative way to make food available and affordable for every Kenyan.
On healthcare, the Head of State said the government would respond to the need for accessible and affordable healthcare, “so that no illness throws a Kenyan family into hardship”.
His government would cultivate a conducive working atmosphere with the private sector, as it endevoured to deliver half a million decent and affordable homes to working Kenyans in the next five years.
“We will make owning a home an opportunity that even Kenyans of modest incomes can afford,” Uhuru said.
“Home ownership is a path to the middle class; it will now become an accessible part of the Kenyan dream. Importantly, the delivery of the new homes will also create hundreds of thousands of new jobs,” he added.
The government would also make it a priority to provide food for all by easing accessibility and affordability. “We will ensure that we add value to our agricultural products so that our farmers’ produce brings jobs and incomes for young people in factories and the transport sector,” the Head of State said.
Raila said the Opposition’s work was clearly cut out in the new year, adding that they will work to ensure future elections are clear of pre-determined outcomes . The Opposition leader said the struggle for electoral reforms would go hand in hand with the strengthening of the Judiciary and reforming the security sector.
Raila said the country could not secure electoral justice and democracy if the judiciary was not strengthened and protected. Democracy, he said, thrived on the rule of law and required an independent Judiciary and judges with the integrity and character to make decisions independent of political happenings.
Raila said the root cause of all the problems bedeviling the country was in the Executive, adding that the Presidency must be restructured to conform to the changing dynamics. He said Nasa had set plans to address all issues of concern to heal the country.
He said these would include dialogue with Jubilee to discuss how to fix the electoral system, reform the Executive, protect the Judiciary and strengthen devolution. “We are ready for such dialogue as long as these issues are on the table.
Alternatively, we take the issues to the people and let them decide without the involvement of the State,” Raila said. Raila’s statement came barely a week after Kalonzo Musyoka declared that they would be sworn in as leaders of the “People’s Republic of Kenya” should there be no dialogue forthcoming.