Political competition is expected to rise when parties subject their manifestos to scrutiny with some already coming up with radical proposals.
The next poll promises to be a break from the past, where presidential election campaign will be nothing more than character assassination as opposed to ideology and issues. On the basis of the election manifestos, the Orange Democratic Movement ( ODM) and the United Democratic Forum (UDF) are tirelessly working behind the scenes to outdo each other.
The statutes of United Republican Party (URP), The National Alliance (TNA) and Narc remain in abeyance over the candidature of the party leaders, while that of Narc- Kenya is in progress.
Narc chief executive Fidelis Nguli, whose party leader, Water Minister Charity Ngilu, who may be locked out of Parliament and presidential race on account of lacking a university degree, did not give details on status of party manifesto, although he said it is ready.
The URP and TNA manifestos are said to be under construction, despite ICC cases hanging on the heads of their presumptive presidential candidates Eldoret MP William Ruto and Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta respectively.
In the past three polls, top on the agenda of most political parties was constitutional and institutional reforms, a feat that was accomplished in 2010 when Kenyans voted overwhelmingly in a referendum for new laws, now in implementation stage.
The battle for supremacy is narrowing down to Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s ODM and his former ally, Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi, who has set his eyes on reversing privatisation in the energy sector to inject competitiveness in the manufacturing and knowledge sectors.
In a draft document seen by The Standard On Sunday, Mudavadi intends to take the risk of reversing the privatisation of strategic State corporations.
While Laikipia West MP Murithi Nderitu, says the UDF manifesto focuses on cheap energy to spur the manufacturing sector, Gwasi MP says Raila will be looking to entrench the new laws, deemed critical for creation of a humane and just society.
“The capacity to develop power must first be underwritten by the State. The economies of the Asian Tigers (North and South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore) are powered by cheap energy. An efficient economy must create demand and supply. This can only happen when the economy can create employment and our target is make this possible by providing cheap energy with the positive effect being felt in the labour market,” says Mr Nderitu, Industrialisation assistant minister.
The former employee of the World Bank blames past regimes for embracing Bretton Woods institutions prescriptions blindly. In what is billed as a revolutionary move UDF proposes to reduce the cost of power from the current Sh15-22 kilowatt per hour to Sh4.5 to spur manufacturing.