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The Plan: William Ruto unveils Kenya Kwanza manifesto

By Patrick Vidija - Jun 30th 2022
Deputy President and Kenya Kwanza Presidential Candidate William Ruto during the launch of the manifesto at Kasarani Stadium. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Deputy President William Ruto has today launched his five-point manifesto ahead of the August 9 polls.

Dubbed ‘The Plan’, Ruto said Kenya’s economic challenges require immediate attention and one of his priorities as President is to revive the economy in a post-Covid era.

He said he would make a decisive break from the business-as-usual economic policies and carry out bold economic reforms in a coherent fashion, to accelerate job creation and leave no one behind in the empowerment process.

Speaking at Kasarani, Ruto said among the key challenges that will confront his administration include an unemployment rate that is estimated at over 50 percent; an economy highly dependent on low productive agriculture (around 30 percent of GDP) with high susceptibility to drought; rising energy and food prices that are now beyond the reach of many Kenyans and about half of Kenyans now living below the poverty line (2019 estimate) worsened by the pandemic.

“In addition, managing and making devolution [work] effectively, fostering national unity and meeting the elevated expectation of citizens under a newly elected president who signifies a change from a top-down economic regime structure to bottom-up. This will have important implications for Kenya’s future economic and social conditions,” he said.

He said Kenya Kwanza’s plan is a bold step in transforming economy to achieve durable growth, while maintaining macroeconomic stability and empowerment of the people at the bottom of the pyramid, the “hustlers.”

According to him, trickle-down economics does not work because the “free market” is not free, or fair; it is rigged for the privileged, captured and monopolised by cartels.

He said the trickle-down model rewards capital more than labour, big business more than small ones, and incumbents more than startups.

“Triple down economic model has failed because personal interests override the public interest where selective interest in policy and legislation supersedes the common good. It is based on an assumption that the market is properly governed and regulated. But most often, the market is captured by cartels driving it to monopolistic and duopolistic tendencies,” said Ruto.

He said the bottom-up economic model is a people-driven, deliberately inclusive, participatory process where citizen participation is at the core of policies, strategies, programmes and projects.

“By ensuring a consultative and a participatory process involving citizens in identifying their key socio-economic priorities, it ensures that government work meets people's needs and that public policy is relevant and that government works for the people,” he said.

Ruto said during Kenya Kwanza’s bottom-up economic dialogue in the 47 counties, they had anchored their manifesto on five pillars that include Agriculture and Food Security, MSMEs and Financing, Housing, Health Access and ICT and Creative Economy.

Below is a summary of Ruto’s 10 key pledges

  • Investing at least Sh250 billion in five years effective 2023 to boost Agriculture and food security
  • Provideing Sh50b annually to provide MSMEs with reliable access to credit
  • Building e 250,000 new affordable houses every year through public-private partnership
  • Setting up a settlement fund to acquire land and resettle up to one million landless families
  • Mandatory national insurance (NHIF)
  • Establishment of new level 6 hospitals in six new sites and hiring an initial 20,000 health care workers
  • Constructing a 100,000-kilometer fiber optic connectivity network
  • Bridging current teacher shortage gap within two financial years
  • Doubling the amount of money allocated to the school feeding programme
  • Appointing all judges nominated by JSC for appointment to the Court of Appeal within seven days
  • Lower cadre officers (sergeant and below) to be given the option of serving in their home counties from age 50

Agriculture & Food Security

  • An investment of at least Sh250 billion in five years effective 2023
  • Transforming two million poor farmers from food-deficit to surplus producers
  • Raising the productivity of key-value food chains and cutting basic food imports by 30 percent

Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME)

  • Providing Sh50b annually to provide MSMEs with reliable access to credit
  • Provide one street trading premises for every 50 urban residents
  • Increase the daily income of informal traders by Sh200
  • Establishing MSME Business Development Centre in every ward

Housing and Settlement

  • New 250,000 affordable houses every year through public-private partnership
  • Grow the number of mortgages to one million
  • Settlement Fund to acquire land and resettle up to one million landless families

Health Care

  • Fully publicly financed primary healthcare

ICT & Creative Economy

  • Construct 100,000 kilometre fiber optic connectivity network
  • Roll out fibre to counties, villages, schools, over 24,000 businesses and homes
  • Establish Africa Regional Hub and promote the development of Software for export

Infrastructure

  • Complete all roads under construction
  • Construct 700km road along the Isiolo-Kula, Mawe-Modogashe-Samatar-Wajir-Kutulo-Elwak-Ramu corridor

Education

  • Pay for in-service teacher training
  • Bridge current teacher shortage gap within two financial years
  • Review the current exam-based system of academic progression and introduce alternative entry criteria
  • Merge HELB, TVET and University Funding Board under a National Skill & Funding Council
  • Set up a National Open University and implement 100 percent transition to higher education
  • Increase funding to research and development institutions from 0.8 per cent to 2 percent of GDP

Gender

  • Two-thirds gender rule in elective and appointive positions in public sector, within 12 months
  • 50 percent of cabinet positions for women.
  • Ensure 100 per cent enforcement of the spousal consent legal provisions in land transaction

Governance

  • Complete the transfer of all functions constitutionally earmarked as devolved functions to counties within six months
  • Strengthen the Office of the Attorney General
  • Audit judicial liabilities and shortcomings within the first three months
  • Strengthen police oversight and appoint an Ombudsman to focus on human rights violations of youth
  • Appoint all judges nominated by JSC for appointment to the Court of Appeal within seven days
  • Establish a Special Tribunal for Gross Human Rights Violations and Enforced Disappearances
  • Timely and predictable transfer of sharable revenue to counties

Security services

  • Contributory benevolent fund for families of fallen and terminal ill officers
  • Insurance cover for loss of life on duty
  • Review and improve pay for all officers in the security sector
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