Raila promises to create jobs,eradicate poverty,ensure food security and end corruption

Opposition chief Raila Odinga pledges to create jobs, eradicate poverty, ensure food security, dismantle cartels and end runaway corruption if elected President on August 8.

NASA launched its 2017 manifesto yesterday in the Waterfront Grounds, Ngong Racecourse, Nairobi. In what appears to be a response to the country’s severe food shortage, Raila has pledged that under the National Super Alliance government, Kenya shall never ran out of food.

NASA is promising to progressively expand income transfer programmes presently limited to the elderly and households with orphans – to the critically food-poor. Coming just a day after President Uhuru Kenyatta also launched his reelection blueprint, promising to establish what it calls “a National Food Security Council”.

The Council will continuously advice government and keep the public apprised of the state of food security.

“No responsible government would allow a country to deplete its strategic food reserve — and then go around blaming drought. Under a NASA government, we shall never run out of food. It will be food first,” part of the manifesto reads.

But in what is perhaps Raila’s strongest message, the former Prime Minister says the culture of impunity in Kenya will end on his first day in office.

The alliance terms corruption the “most destructive interlocutor to good governance and a monumental national security threat” that kills, stifles and cripples social, political and economic development.

“There will be no sacred cows. The NASA Coalition President will never get away with passing the buck to the EACC or Judiciary. This is the pledge to ourselves and to the people of Kenya. We are so telling the world that Kenya is turning a new leaf, where investors can come without fear of being obstructed to extract bribes,” NASA promises.

In a detailed seven- chaptered document, NASA has pledges to roll-out total free secondary education immediately they take over power in August this year.

This is in contrast to Jubilee, that is promising to roll-out the same at the beginning of next year. Calling themselves the “Coalition of the Constitution”, NASA is also promising to increase revenue allocation to the counties and transfer all devolved functions to the governors.

The Opposition says all their appointments will reflect the “face of Kenya” and shall be guided by their Coalition Agreement’s principles on inclusivity, diversity and equity.

NASA says all Kenyan communities would be included in building what it calls a new Kenyan nation.

“All Kenyans, individuals and communities, will be treated fairly and their rights will be respected and enforced, including citizenship rights and responsibilities,” NASA promised.

“We will establish a government that reflects the representation of the Kenyan People, including fair representation of women and men, youth, persons with disability and marginalized communities.”

NASA says they will share power and pursue rotational national leadership that would allow even Kenyans from small or marginalized communities to aspire to and hold the highest offices, based on competence and the “content of one’s character” only.

“We are opposed to any form of tyranny, including the type imposed by numbers or ethnic chauvinism,” the manifesto states.

NASA is promising to help right the wrongs of the past and allow Kenyans, individuals and communities, to have a chance to forgive, heal and reconcile. According to the alliance, a nation that is not at peace with its past will not be at peace with its present or even future.

The alliance says they are committed to developing and promoting the use of restorative processes and justice in handling. Kenya’s complicated past and historical injustices. The NASA approach focuses on restoring dignity to victims and survivors and finding closure, forgiveness, healing and reconciliation at individual, communal and national levels.

This approach is different from the existing system of justice in Kenya, which mostly focuses on punishing off enders and/or allocating blame. NASA is also talking big on infrastructural development.

The alliance says they will upgrade selected airstrips in the country to commercial aviation standards, to ensure that each county headquarters is accessible by commercial flight.

The flights should be affordable at about Sh3,000 from Nairobi. To eradicate what the Opposition terms Northeastern’s isolation, NASA plans to construct the Moyale-Mandera-Wajir-Garissa road.

The alliance has also pledged to pursue the construction of the Likoni Bridge as well as a Coast commuter railway. Th e rail will run along the coastline from Malindi to Diani and from Mombasa inland to Voi.

NASA is also promising to fast-track the implementation of the Nairobi mass transit project to decongest the city. The Raila team is also promising to construct the Lake Victoria Ring Road that will straddle the Western region from Busia and pass through all the four counties in Luo Nyanza.

NASA said they are targeting to eradicate slums by aiming to deliver 500,000 units of affordable housing over the next five years. NASA is also promising to ensure that future retirees access their pensions within the period specified in the pension law.

For those who have retired and have yet to access their pension, the NASA government shall within 100 days put in place a programme to ensure access to what is due to them.

“Those who have genuinely provided goods and services to the government have a right to be paid. Th e NASA Government will honour its repayment obligations to its genuine creditors and agree on a sustainable payment programme,” the NASA manifesto states.

In what could be music to the ears of victims of human rights violations, NASA says such victims who have been awarded compensation by courts of law will be paid their recompense within three months.

In a bid to spur economic growth, NASA promises to establish at least one industrial park per ward. NASA also plans to implement the provision of the Education Act 2012 to set up at least one public university in every county.

It also plans to abolish the provision requiring fresh graduates to produce the HELB loan compliance certificates before being considered for employment. The opposition argues the stringent regulation locks out graduates from poor families from effectively competing in the job market.

NASA further plans to “immediately” enact the disputed Petroleum Exploration, Development and Production Bill 2016 passed by Parliament but which Uhuru declined to assent to.

The proposed law allows the communities where natural resources are exploited to get 10 percent of revenue generated. The alliance says they will also establish workshops where Jua Kali entrepreneurs can lease machines.