Journey to inclusivity and prosperity has started, make it happen

Dear compatriots, the time for choosing the country's leadership for the next five years is nigh. The choice you make matters. It will determine the trajectory our country takes.

A vote for Azimio is a vote for equality, quality universal health care, free quality education, protection of your resources and your rights. It is a vote for positive social transformation, economic revolution and a just and inclusive economy. This election is therefore about leadership that can take the country forward or a leadership that will erase all of the democratic and economic gains.

Whilst we have made strides in certain areas, a lot remains undone. Corruption, disregard for the rule of law, lack of equitable resources, exclusive access to opportunities have left a high proportion of our citizens feeling disenfranchised. The high cost of living is impacting Kenyans negatively due to internal and external factors. Corruption continues to choke the nation, with more than Sh2 billion lost daily and yet the price of most goods is beyond the reach of Kenyans. Young people want better. Jobs opportunities and a country that is responsive to their needs. That is why this election is and must be a transformative one. It has to be about change.

The Azimio ticket carries a flag bearing the rainbow colors of accommodation of diversity, reform agenda, fight against corruption, national unity and stability. In our 'Inawezekana' Agenda, we have shared with Kenyans our proposed road to an inclusive and prosperous country, under our rallying prayer and call "plenty be found within our Nation."

We have promised transformative initiatives such as the Pesa Mfukoni, a programme to give Sh6,000 a month to the neediest and vulnerable in community and in the process stimulate the economy. In a country where medical bills can curse you to poverty, our approach to universal health care through Baba care will also ensure access for all.

This is also the change that my candidature as Deputy President under the Azimio ticket promises. For the challenges that the country faces call for a leadership that is people centered and is courageous and convicted of their values and principles. I believe my track record speaks of itself in these areas.

Beyond our social transformation agenda, we believe that an enabling business environment will be a catalyst for inclusive economic growth. Accordingly, we have put in place elaborate plans to grow the economy through interventions in manufacturing, the blue economy and building climate resilience. We envisage a country that will reform agriculture through value addition, adoption of technology and ensuring our farmers across all sectors benefit from their efforts.

We recognise though, that Kenya will not develop without integrity. If we are losing a third of our budget to corruption, it will continue to hold us back. Accordingly, good governance will be at the core of our work. We seek to build a corruption free, participatory, accountable, and transparent government. We will create a government that facilitates service delivery locally whilst raising our national flag high by pursuing a foreign policy driven by the country's interests. This is, however, not be new to us, for throughout our career, these are principles that have guided our operations whether in or out of government. You can therefore trust us to deliver.

When Kenyans get to the polling booths on Tuesday, one unique thing will stand out. On the presidential ballot papers, three of the running mates will be women, a first for the country, a reminder that women have come so far yet more remains to be done. In this year's campaigns, youth and women have made themselves heard. Whether as candidates or supporters, they have made it known that they want change. They want meaningful and equitable participation in decision making process. Our coalition has made the bold move to heed this call, starting off by being compliant at the top and committing to a government that will inclusion and equity across all sectors.

Food security and nutrition, provision of clean water and sanitation, housing and labor and a commitment to youth and women economic activity will ensure that they are not left behind. From single families and widows to the provision of sanitary towels and improving access to finance for women and youth, our 13 steps commitment to women as espoused in our manifesto will ensure that women and youth make their rightful contribution to the economic, political and social development of this country.

Dear Kenyans. When I look at the road our country has travelled and the challenges that remain, it really reflects mine as well. For mine is a journey that would begin in the in the hills of Kirinyaga, take me to school in Nairobi, send me to the courts as a magistrate at a very early age. And paradoxically find me on the other side of the courts as I and many others fought for the second liberation and the end of the tyrannical one-party rule, propelling me and others to government as a cabinet secretary.

One thing has remained constant for me though. Whether in school or in the streets, the courts or the Cabinet, my commitment to duty, hard work, integrity, and due process has never wavered. I know these are qualities that can drive our country forward. This and a stellar track record are what we at the Azimio bring to the table.

I know that these values of honesty, hard work and& community resonate with and are embraced by a majority of Kenyans. And just like they have propelled me to this moment at the cusp of history, they can move Kenya forward to economic prosperity, inclusion and equity for all, systems and service delivery that works and a social transformative agenda for all. Together we can make our dream, the Kenyan dream as set out in our Constitution work. By voting Azimio you enable us to actualise this dream. Make it happen on Tuesday. Vote Blue!

The writer is the presidential running mate for the Azimio la Umoja coalition.