Saturday, 20 April 2013

The Too Ambitious Kenya

During the campaigns, nothing was left to chance as politicians promised heaven on earth once elected. From an improved economy to free laptops and free maternal health care, the elected government made huge promises that in reality might raise huge questions.

Recently, during the opening of the 11th parliament, the president made a maiden speech where he promised to implement the manifesto in the fullest meaning of the term. However, one is left to wonder, with the current state of affairs, how much will be achieved? Will the whole manifesto be realized?

The minority side of the legislature has sworn to put the government to task so as to ensure nothing they promised is left undelivered. This is already a tight grip on the neck of the government since the next campaigns might bring about a fatal crush if it fails to honor its word.

Within 100 days, the president has promised to roll out the free laptop program and ensure all expectant mothers access free maternal health care. Well, with the current situation, there are pupils and students around the country who lack books and uniform to enable them access education like their counterparts in the cities. More so, there are students who have no classrooms and food to keep them focused in class. With all these loopholes and shortcomings, how well will the laptops help these less fortunate class one pupils?

Around the country, we have health centers that are not operational while some lack enough staff. In addition, some are far away from citizens who are in need of their services. How well will understaffed medical officers and practitioners who in the first place are underpaid and not motivated perform free services with little or no government funding? Will they have to bill the government later as the Director of Public Health was heard saying? Such a system will automatically bring about fraud and corruption as doctors, nurses and clinical officers who are underpaid will overbill the government in order to cover for their poor pay.

Already the rainy season is coming to a close, fertilizer is yet to reach the farmers. It is rather obvious that middle men might land their hands on these bags of fertilizer and ensure they make a huge gain from the transactions. The president promised to stamp out corruption but with middle men landing the bags of fertilizers in their custody, corruption is bound to flourish at alarming rates. Not only will we see corruption flourish in agriculture sector but also in the procurement sector.

The president has promised to set aside 30% of government contracts for the youths. How efficient will government officials be to ensure that the youths actually get these contracts? It is obvious that they will gather their cronies and buddies and register them as youth organizations and societies so as to land these lucrative contracts. With the current crop of officials in government departments, I don’t see transparency being achieved.

His Excellency has good plans that smell brilliance; however, he has officers who have served in the Moi and Kibaki administrations without being prosecuted for corruption allegations and charges. How then will corruption be swept off the government corridors?

We have children without basic education facilities while some cannot access schools easily due to  distance; how will laptops aid them?

Insecurity is rife and on the rise; will these laptops survive a year in the hands of these vulnerable pupils?

The manifesto is achievable but the president has to start from basics to ensure the huge plans do not come crushing and cost him a cool second term.

The opposition is on his neck and he needs to play his cards very safe since the country is watching keenly.

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