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Opposition and Jubilee differ sharply on Uhuru's record

A locomotive tests part of the already constructed Standard Gauge Railway. Jubilee leaders say the project is one of the coalition's success stories. [PHOTO: file/standard]

The ruling coalition and Opposition leaders have differed over the Jubilee administration's performance a few weeks to its fourth anniversary in power.

Focus is on Jubilee's implementation of its campaign manifesto, as this month four years ago, President Uhuru Kenyatta won the presidency with 50.07 per cent of the vote against his main challenger Raila Odinga's 43.31 per cent.

Yesterday, Opposition leaders Moses Wetang'ula, Martha Karua and Musalia Mudavadi said the President and his deputy William Ruto, who assumed office on April 9, 2013, do not deserve a second term in next year's General Election.

"The Jubilee administration has performed more poorly since they came to power than any other regime. If I was to grade them, I would give a D," said Wetang'ula, who is also the Senate Minority Leader.

But governing coalition leaders Aden Duale, Kithure Kindiki and Kipchumba Murkomen defended the Government's record, saying the administration's only problem is that it has not publicised its many projects that are transforming the country.

Kindiki, the Senate Majority Leader, said in four years, the administration had reduced the power connection fees from Sh70,000 to Sh15,000 and more than doubled connectivity across the country.

"We are connecting every other household to power all over the country and the connections have a trickle-down effect. This will further aid the roll-out of our flagship laptops project in every part of the country," he said.

Duale, the National Assembly Majority Leader, cited increased free primary education funding, increased allocations to help students in secondary schools and the scrapping of fees for national examinations.

The Government, he added, had invested heavily in security, with the leasing of more than 1,000 police vehicles, purchase of armoured personnel carriers and improvement of the welfare of security officers.

"It is in the era of the Jubilee government that police officers started getting medical insurance and improved housing. They are also getting new security equipment, including cars, and this has improved the security situation across the country," said Duale.

Nandi Senator Stephen Sang cited progress in the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) project, which expected to be completed six months before time.

"Together with the ongoing implementation of the Lamu Port Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport and other infrastructural projects, the country is on a take-off and continues to be the best place for investment because of the conducive environment created by the current government," said Mr Sang.

Murkomen, the Senate Deputy Majority Leader, said that Jubilee government would go down in history as having not only implemented devolution but also done it in a record two years.

"The ruling coalition has shepherded well the implementation of devolution and has progressively increased the funding to the devolved units," said Murkomen.

He went on: "The Government has equipped two hospitals per county and currently there are about 100 hospitals with medical equipment while others are waiting to put up intensive care units, MRIs and CT scan machines."

Sang said despite some predicting that Kenya would become a pariah State with the election of Uhuru and Ruto, the country continues to bask in international limelight.

"We have hosted many great leaders and conferences, the biggest being visits by Unites States President Barack Obama, Pope Francis, hosting of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit and the World Trade Organisation talks that brought delegates from the across the globe," he said.

And Mandera Senator Billow Kerrow said: "The administration has done well on devolution implementation not to mention infrastructure development and social sector, as well as growth of economy generally."

But Opposition luminaries and civil society representatives painted a different picture.

Wetang'ula said the Jubilee administration had presided over many cases of corruption involving billions of shillings, including the Eurobond saga and NYS scandal.

Politics Of Exclusion

"Kenya was recently ranked the third most corrupt country in the world. President Kenyatta himself admitted that there are thieves. Jubilee has failed to tame the high level of corruption," he said. He also accused the Government of presiding over politics of exclusion.

The government, he added, has no intention of reforming the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) in order to prolong its hold on power.

Mudavadi, a former presidential candidate, said Jubilee had failed to live up to the promises it made to Kenyans. "I have repeatedly said that Jubilee has been a fatal experiment that Kenyans should never be tempted to try again. The worst of Jubilee has been the attempt to formalise ethnic-duopoly rule under an ethnic-exclusionist policy," said Mudavadi, the Amani National Congress leader.

Asked whether the Jubilee administration had any positive impact, he responded: "The term 'positive' is too charitable to use in reference to the performance of this government. It seems that under Jubilee, corruption is a virtue and a genetic inheritance."

Anti-graft crusader John Githongo accused Jubilee of raiding the public coffers with industrial efficiency. "The rest has been a hodge-podge of policies implemented even when they seem to have no basis in the Kenyan reality," said Githongo.

Mudavadi challenged President Uhuru to dissolve his administration to allow for polls to elect new leaders to clean up the 'mess'.

Karua said the looting of public resources was not only a deliberate violation of the Constitution but also caused suffering and death, especially to the vulnerable in society.

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