Raila Odinga: My take on Ruto's 100 days in office

Azimio leader Raila Odinga. [File, Standard]

In the run-up to the August elections, there was agreement that as a result of a combination of factors, the economy was sick and job number one of the incoming administration would be restoring the economy to health and lowering the cost of living for Kenyans.

In these first 100 days of the UDA administration, fixing the economy and lowering the cost of living have hardly enjoyed the prominence Kenyans had expected.

As 100 days come and go, there are simply no glimmers of hope for the economy and cost of living.

These have been 100 days on the road to nowhere. Kenyans are worse off than they were during the campaigns when UDA promises flowed.

Where Kenyans expected and deserved a massive stimulus package to bail them out of the devastating economic circumstances, they got hit with cancelation of the subsidies that had cushioned millions from the pain.

Off went subsidies on petrol, diesel, electricity, paraffin and school fees in these 100 days.

Quietly they did away with cash transfer to the elderly, Pesa ya Wazee and took away the Linda Mama programme that covered maternal services for economically disadvantaged mothers.

With the cancellation of subsidies, the government effectively pulled the life support from the mouths of millions of Kenyans and left them on their own.

In these 100 days, the government more pulled more Kenyans out of the frying pan and threw them into the flames.

As a party, Azimio does not believe that what the regime has done is the "economic moment" the administration promised on the campaign trail.

In these 100 days, no clear plan or economic blueprint for today and the nation's future has emerged.

We see no plan to move this economy from anemic growth to recovery and ultimately to prosperity.

There is no interest in lowering the cost of essential commodities, creating jobs, increasing production and lifting people out of poverty.

Instead, the regime is taking away even the little that Kenya was offering its vulnerable.

It's a cruel twist of fate indeed for millions who were duped into believing that this regime would be pro-poor.

In these 100 days, we have noted a disdain for the Constitution and a flagrant violation of Chapter Six of the Constitution on Leadership and Integrity.

Because Chapter Six of the constitution has been ignored, the government now looks like a gangsters' paradise or a scene of crime.

Everyone ever accused of going against the principles of integrity is in this government, and more are on their way in.

To this statement, we have sufficient details on the making of a mafia regime in Kenya.

The most important task for any leader after election is picking officials like Cabinet Secretaries and principal secretaries who will help run the nation.

These officials become the administration's first impression. And first impressions matter.

The officials determine, in large measure, the initial public confidence or lack of it, and the success and lasting impression of a presidency.

Personnel mistakes point to a troubled regime. We fear we are in for a troubled regime going by personnel and lack of inclusion.

In these 100 days, we have noted that the overall tone and level of civility in government are wanting and worrying.

In word and deed, the regime has carried the partisan acrimony from the campaigns, right into government and they seem to love it that way.

The divisive rhetoric sponsored and enabled by the government itself has also found way in the composition of government.

Article 10 of the Constitution which calls for ethnic and regional diversity in public appointments has been ignored.

More than half of the Cabinet is taken by two communities in a nation of 45 communities.

We have attached the data for all to see. Women have been lied to and shortchanged.

UDA had promised 50 per cent of the Cabinet going to women. Women comprise thirty one percent of the appointments, nineteen percent short of the promised ratio.

Among Permanent Secretaries, the percentage of women is twenty three percent, seven percent short of the constitutional threshold.

The regime has seen to need to explain to the country why it has gone against its promise.

We are concerned about the change in the direction of our nation's foreign policy.

Kenya has come this far by being a friend to all nations with which its interests are aligned.

That seems to have changed. We attach details. We are worried about the caliber of people this regime has appointed take charge of dockets responsible for our engagements on the international stage.

We have detailed our reasons for fearing that we are going to lose on the global arena with those we have picked as our point men.

In these 100 days, there has been no clear direction on Kenya's debt situation.

We had expected the regime to immediately embark on the question of debt and report back to Kenyans.

Instead, the rhetoric that the administration would get Kenya out of debt has come face to face with reality, and the regime is now in a new borrowing spree.

We believe that by now, our youth know the bitter truth; they have been lied to and conned.

The bottom-up pledge was hot air, just like the Hustler Fund. We have laid out our reasons in the detailed report.

The government is not as efficient as the times require. There is too much incoherence, too many contradictions on critical issues.

For instance, struggling with the worst famine in recent times, Kenya donated a planeload of food to Somalia, then launched a Pay Bill number for Kenyans to buy food for fellow citizens.

The regime that took food to Somalia has also asked public servants and officers to make contribution, with the Kenya Defence Forces soldiers leading with a donation of one day's salary.

Unbelievable but expected from a regime that lacks credibility and wants to thrive on publicity stunts in addition to paying for global acceptance.

We conclude that the Ruto administration is off to a terrible start. Nothing inspires confidence in the future or points to better days. Rhetoric has failed to change livelihoods.

Hope has faded. Overturning the rules and policies of the previous administration, despite having no plans of its own, is probably the UDA administration's biggest 100-day accomplishment.

Kindly, take a look at the accompanying comprehensive assessment report on missed targets, false promises and opportunities unexplored.

This is a below average regime. On a scale of 1-10, we would grade the regime at four points.