Musalia: Economy top on my agenda
Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi’s presidential campaign will revolve around the revival of the economy and the need to curb the ballooning public debt.
Mudavadi yesterday launched his presidential candidature amid talk of a partnership between his party and Deputy President William Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA). Ruto and his allies attended ANC’s National Delegates Conference at the Bomas of Kenya.
Mudavadi said no one will choose friends for him, even as he got the backing of Ruto, Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetangula and former Kiambu Governor William Kabogo.
The ANC leader hit out at President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration over the ever-increasing public debt.
“For every Sh100 collected Sh70 goes to repaying public debt, only leaving a paltry Sh30 for public salaries, health services, education, security, infrastructure and all those services that fall under devolved government,” said Mudavadi.
The former Finance Minister said Kenya is at the risk of being auctioned by international lenders.
“Kenya is broke. Critical national assets have been mortgaged. The whole country is now mortgaged. When we ask to be told how the SGR facility has been secured, we are told in affidavits filed by the government in court that it is a State secret, a high national security risk,” he said.
Mudavadi further said the government should be open about public-private partnerships.
“Reckless and irresponsible loans have sapped financial resources from the productive sector. Kenya is on the verge of bankruptcy,” said Mudavadi.
The ANC leader said he decided to vie for the presidency so that he could recover the economy battered by the Covid-19 pandemic and eradicate corruption.
“I desire to lead the chargeback to the economic prosperity and reclaim the soul of the country. I offer trust, trust that I will always tell Kenyans the truth, do what I say and not promise what I cannot do. I ask Kenyans to trust me,” said Mudavadi.
Milk and honey
He went on: “Whether the road is marred with thorns or stones, heat or thunderstorms, I promise and commit that because of the confidence you have shown in me and the commitment to walk with me, we will this time get to the promised land, the land of milk and honey.”
He said the ANC clarion call of “Uchumi Bora, Pesa Mfukoni” is not empty rhetoric, adding that the mantra is about the creation of wealth and employment and not a celebration of poverty.
The former deputy premier further explained that “Uchumi Bora, Pesa Mfukoni” was a pragmatic strategy to get Kenyans out of the financial hole and a solid promissory note that Kenyans can bank on.
Mudavadi said ANC will be seeking partnerships on their journey to State House, saying that there is no shortage of friends of goodwill and good intent to partner with.
“We may not know who is going with us, or who will be our comrades at arms on this mission. But we know who they will not be. They will not be those who cannot be trusted, those whom you trust at your own risk,” he said.
He was categorical that he will not partner with Azimio La Umoja of ODM leader Raila Odinga.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the ANC stand, which I am privileged to pronounce, is that the spectre called Azimio is not an option when it comes to partnerships. This is not an Azimio or about unity,” said Mudavadi.
Danger to democracy
The former Vice President said that although Kenya is a multiparty State, there was a sinister counter-democracy insurgency creeping into the governance system, adding that anti-people plots were afoot to curtail and defeat not only rights and freedoms but also electoral democracy.
He claimed that the plot was aimed at subverting free, fair and verifiable elections by crippling political parties.
“Some shadowy elements are busy attempting to coerce, intimidate and impose handpicked leaders. This is a perilous road that can only lead to civil strife. The stability of this country is derived from the legitimacy bestowed through popular elections,” said Mudavadi.
He said that Kenyans have lived on a diet of political deceit and betrayal, adding that those in leadership have failed to place any useful premium on the words that leave their lips.