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MP pens new Bill to anchor Uhuru Big Four plan in law

By Dominic Omondi | Published Mon, July 23rd 2018 at 00:00, Updated July 22nd 2018 at 22:20 GMT +3
Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria greets locals at Kisumu Bus Park on July 21, 2018. [Denish Ochieng/Standard]

A Member of Parliament has come up with a Bill that seeks to anchor the implementation of the Jubilee Government’s Big Four agenda in law.

Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria has crafted the Implementation of Key Priority Projects Bill, 2018 which provides for a framework for implementation of key priority projects, especially those related to the Big Four agenda.

Big Four agenda is President Uhuru Kenyatta’s ambitious plan to ensure that all Kenyans have access to healthcare, jobs, are well fed and have decent housing by 2022 when he leaves office after his second term.

Mr Kuria, however, said as it stands, the agenda is “amorphous.”  

“President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four agenda risks being one big phantom project if it is not anchored in law,” said the fiery lawmaker.

He noted that the plan needs to have legal structures which would enable every elected leader or technocrat to be cognizant of its implementation.

“That is why I am coming up with this Bill to have the Big Four agenda well outlined,” said Kuria.

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The Bill establishes an authority to oversee the implementation of key priority projects as well as a committee to oversee the implementation of the projects at the constituency level.

However, by denying counties any role in the implementation of the Big Four, the Bill is likely to create friction between county governments and members of the National Assembly, with the former likely to feel slighted by being left out of these key projects. 

Mr Kuria, however, insisted the Bill does not contain any provisions limiting any fundamental rights or freedom.

Ordered freeze

So dear is the Big Four agenda to President Kenyatta that on Friday, he ordered a freeze on all new projects except those related to his pet project.

“There will be no project that will be embarked until you complete those that are ongoing,” said the President, noting that only the Big Four projects are exempt from the freeze.

For the financial year 2018/19, the Government has poured billions into kick-starting the Big Four projects, including Sh57.5billion for enhanced security for investment, growth and employment as well as Sh20.25 billion to enhance food and nutrition security to all Kenyans by 2022.

Further borrowing

National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich also set aside Sh44.6 billion for the provision of universal health coverage and Sh6.5 billion for the provision of affordable and decent housing for all Kenyans.

Treasury estimates that the country needs at least Sh200 billion every year to finance all the projects under the Big Four agenda, money that the Government does not have, particularly after it ran out of wiggle room for further borrowing. As a result, the Government is enlisting the help of the private sector in the realisation of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s dream.

“In order to realise this agenda, the Government is cognisant of the fact that it will need to deploy both physical infrastructure and technical expertise across all 47 counties. This will be a capital-intensive venture that we cannot hope to finance through the national budget alone,” said Mr Rotich when he unveiled the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Disclosure Portal.

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