Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua has declared his 2022 presidential bid pledging to usher in "a new period of better leadership and life" for Kenyans.
He made the declaration at Mavoko, Machakos County.
Mutua, who is serving his second and final term as governor, says he will "reboot" the country’s leadership as he seeks to capitalise on the public clamour for young leaders.
The 50-year-old politician is likely to face off with Deputy President William Ruto, Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi, Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula, all of whom have expressed intension to contest the presidency.
Opposition chief Raila Odinga is also expected to be in the race even though he is yet to announce his plans.
Mutua said his experience and understanding of the dynamics of governance and development make him better suited to be president.
"I have agonised about the pain and the political circus going in our country. I have listened to the voices of Kenyans who have met me and prayed to God for a way to bring back hope," Mutua said.
"Kenya needs a young, dynamic, innovative but mature leader. A person who understands the system but is not a captive of the system."
He rallied the youth to support his presidential bid edged on job and wealth creation, asking that they stop being spectators as their lives were ruined.
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"Why is it that youth of your age in countries with fewer resources than Kenya, are driving cars, having a good life, while you here in Kenya they are broke and jobless as some people steal your money and livelihood? "
If elected, he promised to create five million jobs in the first three years in office and overhaul the education system to "produce young and dynamic citizens who will find jobs waiting for them."
To understand the extent of such a fete, one needs to look at the 2020 Economic Survey that says Kenya created 843,000 new jobs in 2019. This was an increase by 3,000 to the new jobs in 2018.
It will not be a mean fete to create an average of 1.6 million jobs a year with Kenya and the world at large still reeling from the shock of the Coronavirus recession.
"I will build roads and highways in every constituency and maintain new ones to create an environment for growth," said Mutua.
He added, "We will roll back poverty and restore dignity to all regardless of where you were born or your social or political dispensation."
Mutua said he was going into the race baggage-free and that he would be a leader who is inclusive and didn’t hold grudges.
"I will eliminate bureaucracy, cut wastage and enable our business community to thrive in a predictable environment that rewards success; not corruption. Under my leadership, you will only require 14 days to get all your licenses and approvals to start your business," he said.
He vowed to stem graft saying that "politicians will never again steal public land and sell the same land back to the government."
Mutua will now embark on a countrywide political charm offensive to shore up support for his 2022 presidential bid.
He says he will travel across the country on "listening tours" to enrichen his campaign manifesto.