President Uhuru Kenyatta and his main challenger Raila Odinga are promising what their parties say will be unique manifestos in their bid to win this year's General Election.
While the Jubilee government has crafted its plan around a united country, an inclusive government that rolled out equitable developments, the opposition National Super Alliance (Nasa) says its manifesto will focus on social transformation with tenets on efficient economic management, good governance, inclusivity, and strong support for devolution structures that they said were lacking under the current administration.
Though manifestos have long been said to be “lazy” documents which are almost always “copy and pastes” of each other, the teams working on the two documents told the Nation on Tuesday that this year’s will clearly lay out what they plan to do if elected.
“Our manifesto is a work in progress and we will unveil it as a contract and bond with the people of Kenya just when the campaigns start,” Nasa coordinating committee co-chair James Orengo said.
The campaigns were officially launched on Sunday and Nasa is expected to launch its campaigns in Kakamega on Saturday and explain its plans for Kenyans.
Jubilee Secretary-General Raphael Tuju, who is leading a team of local and foreign experts to come up with the party’s blueprint, said the manifesto will ride on the success of the first five years and promise hope in the next five.
“Our vision is a sharp contrast from the opposition’s politics of grievances, despondency, ethnic mobilisation and lies. We will be talking about championing inclusion of Kenyans through Jubilee, which has embraced many parties and people from all counties,” said Mr Tuju.
“In some cases, we developed it internally. In others, we hired people who have expert knowledge to review it for us.”
The Jubilee manifesto, sources said, will be an improvement of the 2013 document in which an ambitious Mr Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto promised what they said would be a digital government, but with additions on what projects will spill over to their next term.
In 2013, Mr Kenyatta, among other things, promised one million jobs every year, free laptops to all Standard One pupils, a double digit economic growth, five state-of-the-art stadiums in five counties, and a “truly” free primary and secondary education, as well as the irrigation of one million hectares to ensure food security.
The opposition manifesto, on the other hand, has been placed under the national campaign team chaired by ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi.
The Nasa team has crafted its manifesto around its much hyped 9-point agenda, which was later reduced to the seven-points that Mr Mudavadi alluded to when he unveiled the Nasa lineup at Uhuru Park late last month.
The seven points are: Promotion of devolution, with Nasa promising to devolve half of the country’s resources to the 47 counties, proper and affordable healthcare, food security, proper management of the economy, free education from nursery to secondary school, eradication of corruption, and security within Kenya’s borders.
“We promise efficient economic management; good governance and rule of law, inclusivity, and strong anti-corruption and support for devolution strictures,” the Nasa document reads in part.
According to Mr Tuju, the government’s completion of the standard gauge railway, construction of roads, opening up of new airports and promotion of foreign direct investment were a step in the right direction.