Capital FM (Nairobi)

4 February 2013

Kenya: Open Letter By Vision 2030 Secretariat

Fellow Citizens

I have no doubt you will all agree with the rest of us at the Vision 2030 Delivery Secretariat that our beloved country Kenya is currently undergoing momentous change; propelled by the implementation of the Kenya Constitution 2010 and Vision 2030.

Just looking around us, it is evident that that we are steadily gaining traction on our development and growth agenda as a country, not just on the economic front but also in our social and political sectors. Our greatest national challenge now is to sustain and consolidate the positive gains that we are beginning to realize on these fronts.

The vanguard of this national transformation process is the Vision 2030, the national development blueprint officially launched in 2008 and now codified in "Sessional Paper No. 10 of 2012 on Kenya Vision 2030". The promise of the Constitution finds its fulfilment in the execution of Vision 2030, the key thrust of which is to transform Kenya into a "globally competitive and prosperous nation with a high quality of life for its citizens" by the year 2030.

Over the last few years, the Vision 2030 Board and Delivery Secretariat have been creating the framework and laying the platform upon which this national transformation process is to be anchored. Many transformational projects are being implemented across the country as can be illustrated from our website - see http://www.vision2030.go.ke/index.php/projects/gallery

At the centre of implementing the various Vision 2030 flagship projects are several actors that include all government ministries, State agencies and regulators, the Judiciary, Parliament, Independent Commissions, the Private Sector, Bilateral and Multilateral Development Partners, Civil Society and Faith-based Organisations. All deserve recognition for playing their part in getting us where we are today.

A Challenge to You

Fellow Kenyans, I write this Open Letter to you, on behalf of the Vision Delivery Secretariat to reiterate the role of the Vision 2030 as our National Development Strategy. It is also a rallying call to each one of us to hold our leaders and ourselves wholly accountable for the implementation of this important development plan. Accordingly, this letter suggests that Vision 2030 be entrenched not only in our national and county governance structures/operations, but also the collective national consciousness and politics of our country.

We encourage you to take personal ownership of this vision by making your own contribution however modest it may be. We celebrate the devoted teacher at the local school who goes out of her way to prepare our kids for a globally competitive future; that nursing officer who is outstanding in their commitment and devotion to serve humanity; or the innovative entrepreneur whose local project delivers economic growth to your community. They inspire us as individuals and express the spirit of Vision 2030; hard work, innovation and personal discipline.

Next Generation Leaders

Because our leaders have an important role to play in ensuring the realisation of Vision 2030, your role as a citizen is equally important in ensuring that during this election period, you seek out and only vote in those leaders who have what it takes to drive our country forward by ensuring the full execution of Vision 2030.

Through this open letter, we implore you to take a conscious step to question your current and aspiring leaders on their development agenda. We are glad that a number of political parties have aligned their manifestos with Vision 2030. However, the journey towards entrenching Vision 2030 does not stop at the national level. That is why we are encouraging you to engage your future President, Governor, Senator, Women's Representative, MP, and even County Representative on their respective manifestos, and how these align with Vision 2030.

As you interrogate the suitability and capability of your leaders to deliver on the country's vision, remember that the political pillar of Vision 2030 envisages an issue-based, people-centred, result-oriented and accountable democratic society.

What does this mean? Issue-based - rather than dwelling on personalities or ethnic/religious identities, debate auditable development plans (health, education, infrastructure, etc); People-centred - that priorities should be focused on citizens' livelihoods and not mere campaign trail concerns; Result-oriented - that the true measure of electioneering success should be a track record of delivery; Accountable - that commitments made in the course of public service are not to be taken lightly and their fulfilment must form the ethos of the entire term of office. If we convert this into a fabric of our national culture, we shall shed off our retrogressive ways for a positive value system and no doubt transform our country into a middle income economy sooner than we think.

We at the Vision 2030 Secretariat believe that our country has within its political ranks, fine and great leaders comparable to their highly effective peers in the professional, entrepreneurial and private sector. All we must do is engage our national leaders and demand from them a demonstration of their grasp, passion and specific plans of how they intend to anchor their development agenda nationally and regionally alongside a well packaged and structured Vision 2030 over their five years in office effective March this year. This is how I ask that our next generation leaders pitch for your vote.

The foundations for the transformation of our country have already been established; but the commitment of every Kenyan will be required to ensure this effort remains on track. Our leaders must therefore play their part. But we also have to individually participate in this process to ensure further success.

What is your role? As we approach the next Presidential and General Elections, I want to put this very simple three fold challenge to you as a fellow citizen and as a patriot. First, ask yourself what you can do as an individual to improve your life and Kenya over the next five years. Second, ask yourself what the major political coalition's now seeking national leadership are likely to do to help you achieve your individual objectives and our joint vision for our future.

Third, we need to realise that we own our country and maintaining peace is everyone's responsibility. We should maintain peace in the run up to and during the general election as exhorted by initiatives such as Amani 2030 and Mkenya Daima so as to continue this transformational journey towards a prosperous Kenya for all!

Once your mind is clear on this, use the power of your vote wisely. Most of us know the right thing to do. No matter how high the stakes may be, have the courage of your convictions. Vote against those who, in reality, promise you only rhetoric or ethnic hubris. Vote for those who focus on the issues and are more likely to help you achieve your individual goals and move Kenya resolutely towards Vision 2030.

In an inspiring demonstration of the Kenyan spirit, the performance of our Rugby Sevens team at the weekend in New Zealand, beating the top rugby team in the world once again reaffirmed that we have a latent passion for excellence that we should seek to harness. Beyond sports, that unifying sense of national triumph and passion for excellence should be replicated across all our social, economic and political endeavours. We should remain unapologetic in our quest for excellence on all the elements that anchor Vision 2030.

That top of the world feeling elicited by a rugby team united for a common goal must be a regular emotion that all of us effortlessly uphold, reflect upon and share every day.

In closing, I challenge all of us to jealously guard these early wins and demand for continued execution and accountability by aspiring leaders at all tiers of our national leadership. We are one nation and a great people who have made great sacrifices to get to where we are today. Let's not settle for anything less than we and our families deserve. Ours is a weighty and awesome responsibility of stewardship, ensuring that Kenya is handed over to later generations much stronger than we found it!

Yours Faithfully,

Mugo Kibati,

On behalf of Kenya's Vision 2030 Champions.

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