15 December 2012

Kenya: President Kibaki's Mixed Legacy

Photo: Xinhua
Kenyans keen on President Mwai Kibaki's achievements.


President Kibaki will soon leave office after serving for two five-year terms as Head of State and Commander-

In-Chief of the Armed Forces. During his last Jamhuri Day celebrations as President held at Nyayo National Stadium, several speakers heaped praise on him for having presided over significant growth in nearly all sectors of our economy.

Indeed, few will refute the fact that Kenya has realised appreciable economic growth under President Kibaki.

The infrastructure, for example, has been given a comprehensive face-lift under Kibaki: the Thika superhighway stands out as the perfect portrait of Kibaki's efforts to better the infrastructure. The construction of this road to international standards has considerably eased the perennial traffic jams in Nairobi.

Tremendous strides have also been made in the education sector. It is during President Kibaki's tenure that Free Primary Education was revived.

This has seen many children and even some adults who had no hope of getting basic education go to school and learn how to read and write.

Meanwhile, university education has also been expanded with several private universities being established to cater for the thousands of high school graduates who could not be accommodated in public universities.

Be that is it may, there have also been a number of things for which President Kibaki has been criticised for. The bungled 2007 general election which spawned the post-election violence that claimed more than 1,300 lives and displaced many is one dark spot on President Kibaki's legacy.

He has also been faulted for entrusting key government positions in sectors such as security, finance and energy with people from his political backyard.

There are also those who view the Free Primary Education programme as a flop. They argue that even though the number of children attending primary school has gone up, there has been no corresponding increase in the number of teachers.

They have attributed the plummeting education standards to this low teacher to pupil ratio. All in all, Kibaki has done his best and Kenyans can only hope that the incoming president will pick from where he left and initiate more projects.

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