4 February 2013

Kenya: Uhuru - Judge Me By My Record in Public Service

Nairobi — Jubilee Alliance presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta says Kenyans should use his track record in government to gauge whether he will deliver on his manifesto pledges.

Kenyatta who served as a Deputy Prime Minister and also held the Local Government and Finance dockets in the Grand Coalition Government told Capital FM News that he will build on the success he accomplished before he left the government. He also previously served in the Moi government.

"My record at the Ministry of Finance is there. When it comes to the issue of transparency and openness in government which is one of the key pillars in our manifesto, my record speaks for itself," Kenyatta said after launching his five- year blueprint on Sunday.

He said he hopes to build on the Economic Stimulus Programme which he initiated as Finance Minister to create value addition and commercialisation throughout the county economies.

"When it comes to the issue of devolution and ensuring that resources are better utilised at the ground and people involvement in deciding where the programmes and projects go under the ESP speaks for itself and these are things we want to take to the higher level," he added.

Kenyatta cited the rolling out of the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) at the Treasury as one of the programmes aimed at creating greater accountability and management of public resources his success.

The provision of laptops to all school going children and abolishing fees for expectant mothers in public hospitals in the first 100 days of his presidency as well as a comprehensive land reform programme are among Kenyatta's key pledges.

He said he intends to tap on the opportunities that can be created through investment in the arts and sports sectors as well as through the creation of a Youth Enterprise Scheme who's funding will be pegged on two and half percent of the national revenue collected.

"We want to focus on the various young men and women who may want to do various little businesses but don't have a place to get resources that why we are creating this fund to facilitate them because as they start their business they also become employers."

The Jubilee manifesto also plans to establish technical institutes at all 1,450 county wards.

"On the other side, we are also focusing on ensuring that we expand the capacity and ability through formal training to make sure we capture the 70 percent many of them who don't have skills... that is the logic behind it," he said.

The Jubilee Alliance running mate William Ruto says they will provide universal healthcare to all Kenyans if his coalition wins the presidency.

Ruto told Capital FM News that many Kenyans do not access proper healthcare because the government had yet to come with a "watertight healthcare scheme."

"The National Hospital Insurance Fund had a good concept but basically bureaucracy and politics overtook the good intentions that NHIF had. What you need to do is to re-engineer the whole concept into a comprehensive universal medical scheme, where no boundaries exist; whether you have a job or you don't have a job."

Ruto argued that the NHIF fee should be waived for the poor such that Kenyans can contribute between 150 shillings and 2000 shillings depending on their earnings.

The URP leader said the health insurance in the country is poor, making medical care unaffordable to majority of the people.

"If you are told pay Sh150 and you can walk into hospital and you can get services without paying a shilling. You would want to think why you would want to walk away from such a deal. I believe as a Kenyan who earns money, I don't mind paying Sh5,000 to be able to create a scheme that will be able to not only benefit me but also other Kenyans. So that we can get this country out of the words that now Kenyan should die out of treatable diseases," Ruto stated.

Jubilee Alliance partners Charity Ngilu and Najib Balala say the success of their manifesto has placed great emphasis on the role of the private sector, youth and women.

NARC leader Charity Ngilu said the Jubilee coalition manifesto has policies which will empower women and ensure they are stable.

Balala said that the coalition will ensure the local community reaps the benefits of transforming the Mombasa free port if elected to power on March 4.

The former Mvita MP said this will be done to ensure that the Kilindini port which is a gateway to Eastern and Central Africa is also a final destination for trade and commerce just like Dubai in the Middle East.

"Devolution stands on local participation and local empowerment. So for the case of the port, employment is going to be given where the people are, so that will be a starting point," he said.

He said sector has the potential to transform Kenya but it must transformed first and singled out insecurity, infrastructure and marketing as the key challenges facing tourism.

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