I have a confession to make. 2 years ago I wouldn’t have voted for Peter Kenneth as president. It’s not because I didn’t think he wouldn’t make a great president it’s just that I didn’t think he was ready, as in hakuwa ameiva. The politics of the last 2 years have convinced me that this is the time when he should stand. The character and integrity of other leaders who are standing for the top seat in the country have made me realize there is no time to waste. We cannot afford to have a leader who is more concerned with being president and the power that comes then the welfare of its citizens. When we look at the leaders who are running for president let’s look at their development records. How can you run a country well when you can’t even run your constituency well? I believe Peter Kenneth’s development record speaks for itself.
I have always admired Peter Kenneth and his development record. How his constituency CFD funds have been well allocated and used. Even in my rural ushago (my paternal grandparents live in Nairobi) they talk about Peter Kenneth and how he has developed his constituency. People even come from other countries to see how his constituency is run while other Kenyan MP’s are busy snoozing. It is a case study internationally on proper governance and use of government funds.
Another reason why I have always liked Peter Kenneth is because he has as an MP paid taxes, not just on his basic salary which all MP’s do but on his allowances as well. He is only one of two MP’s to do so. And this is without being coerced. For me the issue of paying taxes is so personal. I have written many posts on MP’s and their refusal to pay tax including Mr. Politician I am so mad right now. They say that in life only two things are certain, death and taxes.
By the way it is not that we like paying tax but we know we have to pay taxes. It’s not like we have a choice in the first place because the money is deducted by our employers even before we see our salaries. Sometimes I look at my payslip and think the things I could do with that money. Anyway taxes are used by the government to run the country, to do things like provide infrastructure, security, governance, healthcare, affordable education etc. so even though I resent sometimes having to pay that Pay As You Earn, especially when I see MP’s allocating themselves huge salaries which they don’t want to pay taxes on, most times I know that paying taxes is a necessary evil.
When I managed to catch up with Peter Kenneth at a forum organized by the Rotaract Club of Nairobi Central he talked about how much it costs the country when the President or the Prime Minister travels out of the country. It’s not just the president who travels, it’s his staff, plus the additional cost of Ministers, and hangers on like bodyguards and such which makes foreign trips so expensive. Peter Kenneth joked about once being in China with another Minister, and they missed space on a connecting flight to another city but the other Minister’s two bodyguards made the flight. It was very ironical because the bodyguards who were to protect that minister left him and the reason they were there was to protect that minister. Such kind of trips with big entourages he said end up wasting a lot of money that could be used elsewhere. Ha a man who is conscious that just because the government has money (most of it borrowed) doesn’t mean it used be used recklessly.
Peter Kenneth says that in the last four years we have gotten into debt to the tune of 1.7 trillion which we will have to pay for and our kids also. Where has this money gone? Apparently we are the country with the 2nd highest debt (borrower) in the world. Greece in number one. These are things we need to think about as we go into the next election. According to me Peter Kenneth has a good grasp on the situation. I think he will do a great job in making sure that the country’s funds are used in a good way and also be accountable for it if his record on CDF is anything to go by. I also like that his running mate Tuju also has a great record in using CDF funds for development. For more insights into what he talked about read the article here.
I finally got a chance to read a copy of a simplified Peter Kenneth’s policy document. There are two major issues central to his campaign employment and security. Peter Kenneth intends to tackle the above two problems by addressing 6 key pillars that must be properly in place in order to remedy the problems of employment and food security: infrastructure, security, environment, education, healthcare, and water. There are 4 key drivers to ensure the 6 pillars are flourishing: tourism, agriculture, manufacturing, and technology.
Some of the key things I learnt were (taken from the document)
Peter Kenneth on remarkable change in Gatanga. In his own words this is because he and his team ‘focus on fewer projects with higher impact.’ This is the same approach that he will use to govern the nation of Kenya back to its former glory.
On food security Africa has remained a net importer of food and countries dependent on imports of major food staples have been vulnerable to global food price hikes and volatility. Peter Kenneth takes the issue of food security as a top priority and is committed to step up regional coordination of early warning systems, rebuild emergency food stocks, accelerate design and implementation of emergency food reserve systems and scale up safety net programs; Develop national and regional market-based mechanisms and financial instrument to manage risks and smooth food import costs, and remove all food export bans within Africa to enable food to flow from surplus to deficit areas; Integrate increased climate variability into national and regional food security strategies. It is necessary to improve the National Cereals and Produce Board’s capacity for storage and decentralize to breadbasket areas and automate them. Kenya is growing at a rate of over 1 million a year. If we are unable to feed people at 40 million, how will we feed them at 50?
On unemployment – The unemployment rate in Kenya is 38%. 52% of the population in Kenya is under 18. We are going to have a problem when all these people flood the job market with no opportunities.
Peter Kenneth talks about how he will deal with these issues. Here is a copy of a simplified version of the document Peter Kenneth Policy Document for your reading and critiquing pleasure. It shows how Peter Kenneth will deal with the issues of infrastructure, security, environment, education, healthcare, and water. The key drivers as well. I don’t want to copy paste the document. You read it, interact with it, and ask yourself if this man is the man we need to be the servant leader of this country.
I think Peter Kenneth has a good grasp of the issues that need to be sorted in the next five years. I like how he simplifies his vision. I think Kenya would be lucky to have such a president. One thing I know and have seen is that Peter Kenneth is not like most Kenyan politicians who are all talk and no action. He has shown that he is a leader of integrity. He pays his taxes without being forced to. He has transformed Gatanga into a model of what our country would be if we elect him president. He is the leader that Kenya needs. So let’s make it happen. The time is not 2017. There is no better time then this year 2013 for us to get a leader who is not about politicking but about working to make sure his constituents and ultimately Kenyans have a better, brighter future. Tunawesmake.