August 9

Azimio pledges basket of goodies in its manifesto

Monday, June 6th, 2022 22:19 | By
Azimio-One Kenya presidential candidate Raila Odinga and running mate Martha Karua arrive for the launch of the coalition’s election manifesto at the Nyayo National Stadium last night. PHOTO/kenha CLaude
Azimio-One Kenya presidential candidate Raila Odinga and running mate Martha Karua arrive for the launch of the coalition’s election manifesto at the Nyayo National Stadium last night. PHOTO/kenha CLaude

Azimio-One Kenya presidential candidate Raila Odinga and his running mate Martha Karua have pledged to undertake massive social-economic transformation by implementing interventionist policies aimed at drastically reducing the cost of living within the first 100 days in office if they win the August election.

Last evening, Raila unveiled his vision for Kenya in an ambitious manifesto based on a 13-point agenda, which focuses on rebooting the economy, social transformation and restoration of the rule of law.

Raila is locked in a battle with Deputy President William Ruto of Kenya Kwanza.

From debt management, war on corruption, economic stimulus programmes, manufacturing, agriculture, infrastructure, entrepreneurship, improving the ease of doing business, energy, tourism, building a digital economy, the Azimio team unveiled a raft of benefits that the public will enjoy should they form the next government.

This is in addition to universal quality healthcare, under a programme to be known as Babacare, social protection interventions – through which poor families will get monthly Sh6,000 stipends – and a foreign policy that will favour Kenya.

Raila, who is making a fifth stab at the presidency, said his administration will be a “fresh start” for Kenya.

“This manifesto embodies the hopes and aspirations of our people, and outlines how they would like the business of government to be transacted on their behalf,” Raila says in the manifesto unveiled at the Nyayo National Stadium last night.

Besides implementation of government programmes, he also pledged to put in place a coordination, monitoring and evaluation mechanism to enhance efficiency in implementation, by establishing a unit under his office to monitor and report on a quarterly basis on progress of government projects. The team will focus on delivery of the projects besides analysing their impact on human development.

Given that the country is reeling from effects of a large debt burden running in excess of Sh8 trillion, and which has become part of the campaign agenda, Raila promised to restructure and re-profile Kenya’s debt to achieve debt sustainability and reduce future debt burden.

With lack of jobs especially among the young people and high cost of living being major concerns, an Azimio government will develop favourable policies and offer incentives aimed at boosting manufacturing as the engine for creating wealth and employment by encouraging new industries as well as small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to grow.

Industrial revolution

Raila pledged that if elected, Azimio will develop a new manufacturing policy and strategy to guide, encourage, support, promote and coordinate the sector.

This will promote accelerated development of primary, secondary production and value addition as well as implement direct interventions such as government investment, credit, tax reforms, preferential treatment to promote a new industrial revolution. This is in addition to developing linkages between manufacturing and agriculture, mining, construction and other productive sectors.

All these interventions are to be backed by far-reaching tax reforms. If elected, an Azimio administration will review the tax policy, legal, institutional and regulatory framework and establishment of linkages between tax policy and national goals.

The reforms, according to the manifesto, will spur reforms in the tax regime to ensure fair, equitable, inclusive, effective, predictable and sustainable taxation.

According to a copy of the manifesto seen by People Daily, the Azimio team intends to exploit devolution units to complement its administration’s plans of boosting the economy and creating jobs. This will be achieved by ensuring each county has at least one industry using locally available materials to produce goods for domestic and external markets.

“One County, One Product” is premised on manufacturing and value addition as the engine for wealth creation and employment to achieve double digit economic growth rate,” he manifesto says.

To achieve these plans, the ODM leader laid emphasis on the fight against corruption, promising he will among other things, enhance and speed up legal and administrative reforms to facilitate the anti-corruption campaign. He will also direct Parliament to establish mechanisms to facilitate speedy investigation and prosecution of corruption cases in addition to accelerating the pace of recovery of proceeds of corruption and illicit financial flows.

Rural roads

On agriculture, Azimio has pledged to put in place measures to ensure the sector contributes 30 per cent of GDP. The coalition has identified 10 areas of focus, among them promotion of innovative and entrepreneurial approaches, investing in the mechanisation, digitisation and application of science and technology in agriculture.

Further, it will improve agricultural infrastructure, particularly building of rural access roads, supplying electricity and cold storage facilities in every constituency. In addition, it has pledged to promote agro-processing and value addition, improve and expand market accessibility internally as well as for the export market. Azimio has also promised to eliminate post-harvest losses, support and promote research, access to affordable inputs.

Cash transfer

This, Raila said, will facilitate the “Fukuza Njaa” programme of ensuring “no single Kenyan ever sleeps hungry” which will be achieved by increasing food production through collaboration between national and county governments, ensuring availability of food through adequate stock holding in the form of strategic food reserves, monitoring food prices to curtail exploitative practices and reduce cost of agricultural, livestock and aquaculture inputs for food production.

Under the “Inua Jamii”, “Pesa Mfukoni” scheme that is aimed at enabling impoverished families attain better living standards, a cash transfer of Sh6,000 per month will be send to each vulnerable household.

The practicability of the cash transfer scheme has in the past been questioned by Ruto, prompting Raila to defend it.

“When I say that I will give impoverished families Sh6,000 each, my critics are saying that it’s impossible. But I am telling them it’s possible, I have been the Prime Minister of this country and I know where the money is,” Raila said.

To eliminate ignorance, the manifesto lays emphasis on education for all where investment will be done on a comprehensive education programme to facilitate free education from nursery, through primary and secondary to university level.

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