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Presidential candidates should present long-term strategies

By Benard Amaya | June 25th 2017

As the August 8 General Election nears, presidential candidates are busy making all manner of pledges. Details are scanty on just how the pledges will be implemented. As the politicians churn out manifestos, scholars have a duty to lead the way in analysing the different economic blueprints by political leaders,specifically the presidential candidates.

How viable are the policy documents? Trends from previous manifestos paint a gloomy picture. Very few politicians have implemented their campaign promises to a reasonable degree. As we await the launch of party manifestos, our people should not only demand to know the content of the manifestos, but also how the architects of these documents plan to implement them. It is up to the electorate to carefully scrutinise the policies presented to them before making the important decision to vote.

It is imperative for aspirants to declare their policies and aims as we approach the August polls. The candidates should develop manifestos that aim to end poverty, especially in the rural areas through, for example, increasing family income, lower cost of living and createing job opportunities. A good manifesto should have strategies to improve food security, which can be achieved through irrigation and supporting the agricultural value chain.

A good manifesto also should aim to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development and provide access to justice for all regardless of gender and ethnicity.

It is high time politicians started selling their campaign agenda and stop blame games. The Opposition and Jubilee have been constantly pointing fingers at each other instead of offering solutions for the suffering Kenyans. Insults, derogatory nicknames and incitement have become the order of the day. Such remarks have the potential of dividing Kenyans along tribal lines.

Politicians should change tact and instead debate issues. Kenyans need development, not comedy.
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