Jubilee scores poorly in Amnesty's ratings

President Uhuru Kenyatta. [PSCU]

The Jubilee government has performed dismally in the past 10 years, says a report by Amnesty International.

Amnesty International commissioned the report to review the progress made by Jubilee regarding five parameters political, social, economic and cultural rights and freedoms contained in the 2010 Constitution.

“Regrettably, the Jubilee administration did not meet the threshold of effective implementation in any of the five areas reviewed against the 23 sub-themes. As the Jubilee administration’s term ends, 28 million Kenyans remain deprived of basic social and economic rights, while over 4 million people currently sleep hungry,” reads the report.

Despite food security, affordable housing and universal healthcare being the hallmark of Jubilee’s promise, the report finds that the government performed below average in actualising its vision.

Although the government has put in place land reforms, issued more than 1.2 million title deeds, and implemented policies and programmes that support sustainable agriculture as well as maintain the sector’s contribution to around 33 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), food insecurity and starvation continues to affect millions.

“The Jubilee government failed to effectively address unequal and inefficient food distribution and food wastage calculated at 40 per cent, caused by lack of storage facilities and poor infrastructure for accessing the market,” reads the report.

“Statistically, 53.5 per cent of Kenyans reported that they had sometimes or often gone without food in 2021, compared with 34 per cent in 2019. By June 2022, over 4 million people in Eastern Kenya were in urgent need of food aid, and more than half a million children were acutely malnourished,” said Amnesty International’s Lawrence Mute.

On universal health, the initial rollout of the programme in four counties, Kisumu, Isiolo, Nyeri and Machakos experienced headwinds from corruption, neglect of the health workforce, and irregular disbursements to counties. The result was patients paying out of pocket for public services, a prolonged 2019 health-worker strike, and delays in accessing healthcare.

The report found that although the Jubilee government promised every Kenyan decent housing through upgrading informal settlements and giving loans to low-income Kenyans to enable them build homes, little of the proceeds of the development went to the needy.

The report shows the programme has benefited higher-income households, the top 3 per cent of households that earn over Sh100,000.

“By concentrating on private-public-partnerships and targeting formal income earners, the programme has benefited higher-income households and not the initially intended lower-income households within the informal economy,” reads the report.

Responding to the report, Government spokesperson Cyrus Oguna argued that housing is segregated for low-income earners and for the middle class.

“These rates are way below the normal market rate which ordinarily would be twice the amount. The allegation that Affordable Housing products are only for the wealthy, and out of the reach of mwananchi is false, and not factual,” said Col (Rtd) Oguna.

The report says extrajudicial killings remained a common practice under the Jubilee government over the past decade.

“Forced evictions under Jubilee continued in breach of court judgments. In 2020, Chief Justice David Maraga highlighted his concern that the government had disregarded a court order against the eviction of families in Kariobangi on May 4, 2020 during the Covid-19 curfew,” reads the report.