Nasa launches six-point manifesto

Tuesday June 27 2017

National Super Alliance principals, from left: Isaac Ruto, Kalonzo Musyoka, Raila Odinga, Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang'ula during the launch of their manifesto at Water Front, Ngong Racecourse on June 27, 2017. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

National Super Alliance principals, from left: Isaac Ruto, Kalonzo Musyoka, Raila Odinga, Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang'ula during the launch of their manifesto at Water Front, Ngong Racecourse on June 27, 2017. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

By AGGREY MUTAMBO
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Opposition National Super Alliance (Nasa) say they will take the country to prosperity by fighting corruption, implementing the Constitution and launching programmes to produce more food.

In their Manifesto, the leaders led by former Prime Minister and presidential contender Raila Odinga said theirs will be a government bent on better management of resources and respect to the rule of law.

“We are offering Kenyans the choice between faithful implementation of our new constitutional dispensation, and yet another triumph of the old order,” Mr Odinga said ahead of the launch.
“We believe there is only one choice,” he added.

The Coalition attacks the Jubilee administration’s failure to provide sufficient food, promising to expand social safety nets beyond the old and orphans by including everyone on a certain scale of poverty.

FOOD SECURITY

While it doesn’t say how this will be financed, it seeks to draft and implement an integrated food security plan where irrigation, fertilizer, seed and modern farming operations are managed in concert.

In addition, it seeks to establish a National Food Security Council meant to advise the government on existing stocks of food and expected yields.

Under the Jubilee Administration, President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2014 created the Oversight Board of the Strategic Food Reserve Fund meant to procure and store adequate stocks of food for sale across the country.

Its chairman, Noah Wekesa, recently claimed it doesn’t even have an office or secretariat, giving a new challenge of duplication.

PROGRESSIVE VALUES

The Alliance says in its policy document that it will be governed by “progressive values” of democracy, rule of law, affirmative action, freedom of the media, transparency and public participation.

“Nasa recognises that corruption is the most destructive interlocutor to good governance; and a monumental national security threat; it kills, stifles and cripples social, political and economic development and destroys citizens’ morale, aspirations and patriotism,” the opposition group argue.

“Yet this is where the Jubilee administration has thrived, setting the record for the highest number of unpunished corruption cases of any government, and consequently pushing the country to the edge of the cliff of economic collapse,” it adds.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) admits Kenya could be losing money worth a third of the national budget through corruption. But the agency defends its record in fighting graft, claiming it is pursuing over 800 cases of corruption for possible prosecution.

DEAL WITH CARTELS

To solve this, the National Super Alliance says it will “facilitate to the reconstruction of the national psyche” where public employees are servants rather than masters exploiting the citizens by demanding bribes.

The Manifesto does not explain how this will happen, but the same document says it will generally use existing laws to punish corruption culprits and deal with cartels.

“To realise our consumer rights, we have to dismantle cartels. Nasa is not afraid of cartels, no matter how powerful. Cartels must go,” says a segment dedicated to providing sufficient services to the public.

On financial management, the Opposition seeks to deal with wastage while at the same time promising to respect labour laws for workers. It accuses the Jubilee administration of borrowing recklessly in spite of complaining of rising wage bill.

“The Jubilee administration has been fanning hysteria against the public wage bill while borrowing recklessly and plundering the debt.

DEBT BURDEN

“Under the Jubilee Government, our annual debt service burden has increased by 3.7 percentage points from 16.6 to 20.3 per cent of revenue which translates to an additional Sh50 billion. It is debt, not the wage bill that is driving us over the financial cliff,” it argues.

Kenya’s debt burden recently reached Sh4.4 trillion, the highest in East Africa at about 52 per cent of the GDP, according to the National Treasury.

This, even as the current regime argues it was necessary investment to put up infrastructure.

In essence, the opposition seeks to implement the Constitution to the full and specifically lists chapters on integrity, national unity, prudent financial management and rights of the people.

The Nasa brings together Mr Odinga’s ODM Party, Wiper Democratic Movement (Kalonzo Musyoka), Ford-Kenya (Moses Wetang’ula), Amani National Congress (Musalia Mudavadi) and Chama Cha Mashinani (Isaac Ruto).

CREATE JOBS

The opposition coalition, seeking to defeat President Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party, says it will focus on rebooting the economy to create more jobs.

It focuses on five key objectives of national unity, dignity for every Kenyan, ending culture of impunity, improve management of public resources and “returning the country to the path of constructional and democratic development.”

The document has borrowed heavily from the one published by the Coalition for Reform and Democracy (Cord), which brought together Mr Odinga, Mr Musyoka and Mr Wetang’ula ahead of the 2013 elections.

In that document, Mr Odinga tabled a ten-point pledge, focusing on reforms, food security, and universal healthcare, quality and affordable education, poverty eradication and improving the economy.