Last week I started sharing five key reasons why Raila Amolo Odinga gets my vote for President in the March 4th 2013 general election. I was only able to cover two points so today I share the rest.
Let me start with a quick run-through of my first two points. One is that the Prime Minister is the only candidate amongst the top five aspirants who is not selling ‘grievance politics’ in his campaign. Raila Odinga is not trying to manipulate ethnic fault lines, inter-community tensions and/or cultural differences amongst tribes, in efforts to win votes and/or ring-fence communities away from other candidates. In fact he is going out of his way to reach out to everyone, with one common message everywhere: ‘Kenya is One Nation made up of 40 Million Individuals of diverse backgrounds all seeking to better their lives. Such prosperity will only happen if all these Kenyans Unite beyond their tribes, gender, religion, age-groups, etc and work together harmoniously towards the achievement of Vision 2030’.
The second reason was the Constitution. Hon Raila Odinga has made a commitment to fully implement Kenya’s new Constitution; a commitment that even his worst enemies find undisputable. Actually he is the only candidate who has made implementing the constitution a key plank of his campaign. He is also the only candidate who has not been linked with attempts to amend it so far.
Now to my other three reasons.
Raila Odinga is a fervent adherent of the gospel of Vision 2030. In his campaign he has assured Kenyans that the 10 years of his government (2013 to 2023) will see a strengthening of the infrastructure initiated under President Kibaki. He will achieve this through increased budgetary allocation as well as an improved policy and regulatory environment to attract private sector participation. It should be noted that it is under his tenure as Minister of Roads that Vision 2030 flagship projects like the Thika Super Highway were initiated, despite great resistance from unscrupulous developers who had encroached on road reserves.
Still on the economy Raila promises that his government will construct a modern, electric, international standard gauge, high speed railway system to link key cities and towns along the Northern Corridor for rapid transit of passengers and bulky goods. This will also protect our roads and lower costs for businesses. He has also promised to develop a light railway transport network for Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru and Kisumu to ease traffic congestion in these cities. He says he will also complete the three international Airports due in Lamu, Isiolo and Lokichogio as well as address the high electricity tariffs to the manufacturing industry so that Kenyan goods can be competitive locally and abroad. Raila’s government also promises to look at ways of exploiting alternative sources of energy, including the power capacities of bagasse, solar, wind, coal and bio-gas.
The fourth reason my vote will go to the Prime Minister is because of his plans for the youth. He has promised to restructure the Kenya Industrial Estates (KIE) into the Kenya Industrial and Enterprise Development Agency (KIEDA). This new agency will operate fully-fledged industrial and enterprise development incubation hubs in each county for promising investments; hubs where specialized skills to Small and Medium Scale Enterprises can be imparted in addition to being networked with the Youth Enterprise Development Fund and various microfinance Institutions providing credit to youth-driven enterprises. As far as I am concerned this is the most sustainable solution to youth economic empowerment I have heard from all the candidates with most of the others sounding like ‘short-term political-campaign’ sales pitches!
My fifth reason for supporting Team Raila Odinga is that he is the only candidate thinking of Kenya’s weak and vulnerable. He promises to make the National Social Health Insurance Scheme a reality so that all Kenyans can access basic health services. He promises to improve on the current free education system so that there is universal access for all (plus teacher’s terms are improved sustainably). Having suffered human right abuses he plans to establish a Human Rights Tribunal to tackle human rights abuses and he even promises to establish a universal pension scheme where every Kenyan aged 65 years and over will be entitled to a monthly pension of not less than Sh 2,300!
There are a multitude of other reasons for supporting Prime Minister Odinga for President 2013, including his promises on political and land reforms, etc. However the above 5 are enough for me to join Team-Raila, especially because no one else has anything close.
That is why I conclude with a challenge to Team Uhuru; Team Kalonzo; Team Ruto; Team Musalia, etc. Could you share with Kenyans at least 5 reasons why your candidate should be President in 2013 (apart from the size of his tribe)? Can we debate the merits/demerits of the next President's promises, rather than how big/small their tribe is?
Or is the size of ones tribe the only way your candidate has any chance of winning?