The manifestos of
the major parties have been launched and only a handful of the
six other candidates have produced a manifesto.
The first question
that I ask is, why produce a manifesto when we already have
This Vision was
crafted by a representative body of people that came from all
walks of life.
It traces its origin
from the desire by the then government, under President Mwai
Kibaki, to replace the Economic Recovery Strategy (ERS) that it
had put in place when it came into power in 2002.
It was to run for
five years and would expire in 2007.
The year before its
expiry, a special body was formed which would be eventually
called the National Economic and Social Council or NESC.
It was charged with
creating the replacement of the ERS.
The membership of
NESC came from government, academia, civil society, faith based
organisations, development agencies and the business community.
It also had the help
of specialists from two rapidly developing economies – Korea and
This body is the one
that conceptualised Vision 2030, clearly premised on the
understanding that working on discrete five year planning cycles
which mirrored the election cycles would have led to disjointed
The NESC was also
able to draw on the fact that quite a few key projects in Kenya
never saw the light of day as they were conceptualised by one
load of bureaucrats and then stopped by the next lot who came
There were also many
successful ones that bit the dust because of major policy
changes that completely shredded the investment premises prior
to the businesses becoming self sufficient.
The Vision was
adopted in 2007 and implementation started in the troubled times
after the post election violence that was experienced in 2008.
The formation of a
Government of National Unity also known as the Grand Coalition
Cabinet was a blessing for this Vision.
The two largest
political factions in the country were put together in a
pressure cooker relationship that slowed down a lot of things
but it meant that whatever long-term commitment was made was
very likely to be respected in a future should the political
It has indeed
changed and the two key “factions” in the Government of National
Unity still remain the main players in the politics of Kenya
The import of the
earlier paragraphs is that Vision 2030 is still the main guiding
document on which the manifestos of the two key parties or
coalitions are based.
They have very
little difference in substance.
They only differ on
The main thing that
underpins the three pillars of the Vision is infrastructure in
the widest sense.
This would mean that
for road users like us, there would still be continued focus on
building new roads, upgrading and expanding existing ones, and
enhancing the maintenance of existing roads.
To illustrate this
point, there are recent expressions of interests invited for
major road construction projects around Mombasa and Nairobi by
the Kenya National Highways Authority (KENHA).
The Kenya Urban
Roads Authority (KURA) has also invited companies to bid for new
There are also
recently signed contracts that are about to start under the same
Authorities which will obviously continue into the next
So as we approach
the polls in just under five weeks time, we should note that the
promises by both the main “parties” as well as the other six
parties/ candidates mostly come from the same document – Vision
2030 – and reflect the wishes of Kenyans.
So the promise is
exactly the same by all the people who hope to lead Kenya.
Our choices, from my
point of view, must be made on the integrity of the people
leading the promises being made by the parties and who are vying
for the Presidency.
It must also be made
on the basis of the integrity of the candidates who will be
vying for Parliamentary as well as Senate seats and also Women’s
This way the
Executive and the Legislature will truly deliver on their remit
– to act as checks and balances on each other and stay true to
the Constitution of the Kenya as they deliver on the promise.
Our choices for
Governors and Members of County Assemblies (MCAs) should be even
more critical as these are the people who are closest to
wananchi and should manage the effective delivery of services to
We must scrutinise
not only their integrity but also their personal abilities and
commitment to following the Constitution and also their track
It is only by being
brutal and ruthless in applying our constitutional rights and
ensuring that the people we elect have the right credentials in
strict accordance with the expectations that we have expressed
in the Constitution of Kenya that we will begin to get the kind
of service we expect and demand.
Now is the time, as
we better understand the power play between National and County
Governments, that we select the country and county leadership
that will deliver our aspirations in the next five years and
also build a sound basis for the future.
As Kachumbari says,
the immediate future of the country is in our hands - literally