Jubilee to counter CORD with words, deeds

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto inspect the Kisumu-Kakamega road construction at Ikolomani. The President will be seen more and more launching similar projects. [PHOTO: FILE/STANDARD]

President Uhuru Kenyatta's administration has devised new strategies to counter pressure from the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD).

In the wake of CORD's renewed vigour, the Government looks to have adopted emphasis on development projects that impact on the social-economic wellbeing of Kenyans.

The Standard has learnt that the political wing of the presidency led by the President's adviser on political matters Joshua Kutuny has designed a three-pronged approach to counter CORD's demands, which include calls for a national referendum.

One of Jubilee's strategies is to have Mr Kenyatta personally open or launch key development projects with the objective of building public confidence and boosting the Government's appeal among Kenyans.

"We know how exactly we want to connect with Kenyans. Those who voted for us and those who voted for the Opposition. The President is leading the way from the front and that is what makes the difference," National Assembly Majority leader Adan Duale told The Standard.

"The President and his deputy will be seen more actively engaging in matters of building the nation than before because that is the way we want to go; address what is ailing our economy to improve the lives of all Kenyans," he added.

The ruling alliance hopes to ride on some of the multi-billion-shilling projects launched during its tenure to seek a second term in office, a move the opposition aims to thwart by exposing possible corruption and ethnic appointments in government.

"The Government is aware that expectations among Kenyans are very high. We only have four years remaining to quench their thirst. We shall because it's on that platform that we were elected and we shall be evaluated in 2017," Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung'wah.

The President's busy diary involves visits to construction sites of the Government's key flagship projects meant to directly impact on the social-economic welfare of Kenyans and boost investor confidence in the wake of heightened security threats.

Of particular interest was the President's decision to tour two key government projects in Nairobi while CORD was holding a Saba Saba rally at Uhuru Park.

On the political front, the Government wants to involve Jubilee legislators in the Senate and the National Assembly to respond to political attacks from the Opposition.

"We have mounted our soldiers in both Houses to appropriately and when necessary address the concerns and issues raised by the Opposition to ensure that our communication is coherent, systematic and harmonious to shield ourselves from falling vulnerable to attacks from our opponents," Senate majority leader Kithure Kindiki said. He said the Government was committed to ensuring that its development agenda remains on course.

On the other hand, Ruto is leading the social support wing of the Government, visiting various parts of the country to attend communal functions to maintain government presence and establish connection with Kenyans.

Ruto is duty-bound to attend fundraisers and other strategic events that give an opportunity for the Government to showcase its plans and hold consultative meetings with community leaders on the best solutions to various issues affecting communities, including cattle rustling in parts of the Rift Valley and northern Kenya.

The Government is riding on the fact that top opposition leaders rarely attend fundraisers and when they do, it's mostly in their strongholds.

The Standard has also learnt that the Government will buy five police helicopters to deal with the cattle rustling menace.

Ruto's order to schools to release all KCSE certificates has been viewed as part of the Governments' strategy to connect with the poor.