Kenyans from Coast to Western have high hopes for incoming president William Ruto as he takes the oath of office today.
In his in-tray of what residents want to be treated as a priority, there is a slew of issues that they believe would improve their lives if addressed as soon as possible.
Residents expect the incoming president's leadership to reduce the cost of living, which has resulted in a large number of them losing jobs after companies that employed them closed down due to production costs.
Most residents in Kisumu are optimistic that president Ruto's government will lead to a better economy through his leadership. Kenyans believe the new government will prioritise the needs of ordinary citizens, despite the fact that they are struggling to keep up with daily increases in basic household item prices.
Mark Otieno, a shopkeeper, said while the new government is not what he had hoped for, he has accepted the outcome and is eager to see what Ruto has in store for a better Kenya.
"If you can't fight them, join them," the old adage goes. "I am ready and willing to join the working team, and if the new government gives us that, why not?"
The presiding pastor of Kisii Gospel Chapel Embassy, Thomas Morube, urged Ruto to restore Christian values among Kenyans. "Murder cases and corruption should be a thing of the past; we must return to prayer."
Samson Otieno, a boda boda operator in Usenge town, expressed excitement about the boda boda community's inclusion in Ruto's government.
"The majority of us voted for Azimio, but now that Ruto has been declared the winner and will take the oath of office today, we expect him to fulfill his election promise of creating jobs for the country's millions of youth," said Otieno.
Suna West MP Peter Masara asked president Ruto to treat all Kenyans and regions equally despite whom they voted for.
According to Charles Okwemba, the director of Alpha Support Development, which assists vulnerable and orphaned children in Kakamega county, Ruto must embrace opposition leaders and form an all-inclusive government.
"Civil societies expect him to address the issue of poor governance that has caused donors who used to support them to withdraw their support," Okwemba said.
He believes Ruto should put his Bottom-Up economic development model into action "so that ordinary Kenyans can benefit."
"Let him implement projects that will benefit the education of the society's less fortunate children."
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Lowering the cost of doing business, obtaining affordable agricultural input, and releasing tuition capitation to schools are all priorities in his home region of North Rift. Business leaders said yesterday that they expect the new administration to foster a positive working relationship between the private and public sectors.
"We expect the new administration, led by Dr. Ruto, to improve public-private participation while also ensuring prompt payment for services and goods delivered in order to reduce bill accumulation, which has demoralised the private sector," said Willy Kenei.
Kenei, the chairman of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) branch in Uasin Gishu, stated that they expect the cost of doing business and farming to be reduced through good policies that encourage investment.
"We expect the government to make it easier to obtain low-interest credit and to lower trade barriers both within and outside the country to boost income generation."
Kasten Kamau, a Nakuru businessman, expressed optimism about the next administration's promise to establish a special fund to support the country's small and medium enterprises.
"I understand that the Hustler Fund may take some time to implement as laws are developed, but it is my hope that this will succeed. The SME sector employs millions of Kenyans, and its expansion benefits a lot of people," Kamau said.
Stephen Muli, the chairperson of the Central Rift Matatu Owners Association, said he hopes for improved infrastructure to boost business returns.
"Some roads are a nightmare, especially for those who use public transportation. President Uhuru Kenyatta paved the way, and we hope Ruto will surpass him," Muli said.
Nachola MCA Lawrence Lorunyei said he expects the Ruto administration to improve regional road infrastructure. "We want Ruto and his government to look into the economy of Samburu County by opening it up by building roads, creating jobs for young people, and bringing peace to the region," he said.
The professionals and elected leaders in Naivasha have challenged him to come clean on the issue of the Naivasha Dry Port.
According to Judith Okumu, a business owner, it is past time for Kenya's economy to pick up and grow for the sake of its citizens.
North Mugirango MP Joash Nyamoko said in Kisii that the region is expecting new dawn in its social, economic, and political affairs.
"We are ready to have a conversation about how to lower basic food community prices. The new government should create avenues for jobs by supporting small-scale traders; this is well anchored in the Kenya Kwanza manifesto, and it is a matter of putting it into action."
Residents in Migori are optimistic that development projects will benefit them under Ruto's administration.
Pentecostal Assemblies of God (PAG) District Overseer Boniface Karani said Ruto has received tremendous support from the people of Western and must reciprocate by initiating development projects in the area.
"Our youths want developments that can create jobs; we hope Ruto can keep his promises, which include boosting small businesses," Karani said.
Residents in Vihiga said they expect the incoming president to reduce the cost of essential commodities and raise living standards. According to Japhet Kihusu, a boda boda operator from Mudete, the price of flour, cooking fat, and other commodities should be reduced.
"We'll be waiting to hear what he says about the high cost of living right after he's sworn in," Kihusu said.
Meanwhile, Paul Rotich of the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet), said: "We expect the new administration to be prompt in releasing capitation funds to schools at the beginning of each term."
He said schools should expect to receive 50 per cent of their allocations on the first day of term one, 30 per cent and 20 per cent on the second and third terms, respectively.
The Kuppet official also said they hope Dr Ruto appoints a Cabinet Secretary (CS) who has previously worked as a teacher to lead the education sector when he forms his government. He also asked the Competency-Based Curriculum be reviewed.
Private primary schools are expecting the government of Kenya Kwanza to hold robust engagements with stakeholders to restructure the already implemented programme under the leadership of Prof George Magoha.
Another resident, David Alao, has asked the new government to consider eliminating CBC, citing its high costs.
"Let the new president consider some of Raila Odinga's ideas, such as Baba Care," he said.
The chairperson of Elgeyo Marakwet private schools, Christopher Cheboiboch, said CBC was rushed without prior and proper consultation by the Education ministry.
Cheboibooch, a former Boston marathon champion and MCA in Elgeyo Marakwet, said despite the ministry's push for the programme, training teachers to train under the new curriculum remains a challenge.
Prof Mwaniki Ngare, a senior lecturer at Egerton University, expressed hope that the new government would revitalise the ailing higher education sector.
"Ruto has promised to bail out the universities. He has studied in Kenyan institutions and understands our situation the best. We hope he stays true to his words," Ngare said.
Mr Willy Kirwa, a dairy farmer in Uasin Gishu, believes Dr Ruto understands the dynamics of the agricultural sector and expects him to address issues such as input subsidies, expanding processing plants for value addition, and identifying an external market for local produce to generate income.
"We believe Ruto will strike a balance across the country to ensure producers expand their enterprises, increase food security, and boost the economy," Kirwa said.
Residents in the South Rift region have high hopes for Ruto's administration, which promises to address insecurity, and stalled projects as well as create jobs for young people.
Land and security
Njoro MP Charity Kathambi expressed confidence that the incoming president will address the issues confronting landowners in parts of Nakuru where a caveat was imposed 25 years ago.
"The caveats in Njoro and Kuresoi have denied people the opportunity to develop their land. We hope the new president will consider lifting the caveat to empower the owners," she said.
Samburu Governor Lati Lelelit said the incoming government must work with county governments to protect people and property.
"We intend to include Ruto in the security discussion in Samburu and surrounding counties. There is nothing we can achieve as leaders unless we secure the region that is prone to cattle rustling," he said.