NAIROBI, KENYA: President Uhuru Kenyatta was spot-on in his diagnosis of the challenges facing Kenya in her quest to become a middle-income country that affords its people the opportunity to lead a decent life.
He aptly pointed out national unity, economic growth, food security, unemployment, insecurity and corruption as the critical challenges facing the country as it marked 50 years of self-rule.
We must draw the attention of government to the fact that of all the hurdles the country needs to overcome to achieve its aspirations as captured in Vision 2030, disunity, corruption and insecurity pose the greatest headache.
In his address to the nation yesterday, the President set out his government’s development agenda for the next five years.However, all these noble plans would come a cropper if corruption and insecurity are not tackled urgently and with purpose and zeal.
The President’s pledge that he is passionate about uniting all Kenyans must have sounded like music to the ears of many since the country has just come out of a very polarising general election in which he scraped through by slightly more than the 50 per cent threshold. National unity has eluded Kenya for the last 50 years, courtesy of past regimes that promoted a narrow tribal agenda. President Uhuru represents a new crop of younger politicians and we hope he will lead the country towards national healing and reconciliation.
There has never been willingness to tackle corruption in the last 50 years because it is the ruling class that stood to benefit from the vice. Corruption is corrosive. It eats tarmac from roads, gobbles down drugs and equipment meant for hospitals, denies workers their rightful earnings; breeds impunity; releases hardcore criminals from jail; denies justice to the oppressed; oppresses widows and orphans and applauds mediocrity.
Finally, insecurity, if it goes unchecked, will discourage investment and deny Kenyans the peace that our freedom fighters fought for. These issues must be given priority