The Star (Nairobi)

3 September 2012

Kenya: Ngilu Promises to Provide Basic Needs

Nairobi — CABINET minister Charity Ngilu formally launched her bid for State House with a promise to deliver on basic needs.

Ngilu promised "a basic needs revolution" for the common man.The event was held at the KICC grounds and attended by her Narc party delegates.

Shortly before Ngilu's arrival, the delegates had endorsed her through simple acclamation,as the party's presidential candidate .

ODM MPs Joyce Laboso, Rachel Shebesh, ODM-K's Kiema Kilonzo and PNU's Cecily Mbarire attended the event. Ngilu was introduced to the delegates by her daughter Mwende Ngilu.

"It is with great humility and gratitude that I accept the Narc party nomination for the presidency of the Republic of Kenya. This is not only a great privilege to me, but a manifestation of the confidence the party membership have in me and my leadership," she said on taking the podium.

Under the slogan "five promises, five years" Ngilu said she will deliver food and water, health, education, wealth creation and women empowerment. She said Kenya has immense potentials, but poor leadership has let the country down.

She said the current and past government had focused on "physical illustrations of growth and flamboyant plans" than actual outcomes.

"Albert Einstein once said the definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Kenyan choices are clear. We can choose another 50 years of doing the same thing and hoping for different results or we can begin a new journey with a difference," she said.

More specifically, Ngilu promised revival of agricultural extension services, planting and harvesting equipment for farmers, procurement of local goods, modernization of cottage industry and green energy for public schools and hospitals.

Further, she promised to set up a national lottery in her first year of service to support arts, sports, music and theater industries. She also promised to deliver a laptop to every primary school going child through a program called "one child one laptop."

"We will build a secondary school for each two primary schools," she said. She said under her government, women will access large government contracts and receive credit for their businesses.

Before her, Laboso, Shebesh, Juja parliamentary hopeful Alice Ng'ang'a and former ODM-K vice chair Peris Tobiko asked Kenyan women to rally behind Ngilu. Laboso asked Narc leadership to be ready to accommodate women who will be kicked out of other parties in the primaries.

"There is no other politician in this country who understands the grassroot problems more than Charity. This is why as women, we are very proud and we are not apologizing for it," Shebesh said.

This will be the second time the Kitui Central MP will be vying for presidency. Her first was in 1997 general elections when she ran on Social Democratic Party (SDP) ticket and lost to former president Daniel Moi.

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