Its way past 100 days for the Jubilee Government and I am still pondering on what to give as my own scorecard. Things are happening so fast and the fear of going back to another politically charged environment is becoming more and more real each day due to the immature proposed referendums. All these proposed immature referendums have one thing in common, that is, selfish play from our so called leaders whose main desire is to negatively polarize our peaceful atmosphere as a country in order to remain politically significant. If by any means we find ourselves back to the ballot box any time soon, I wish to state that my vote will be against any form of referendum. Having stated my position, kindly allow me to continue with the agenda for today and that is giving my well thought out scorecard on the Jubilee government.
This government reminds me of three men who were trying to argue amongst themselves who is more generous to God. The first man went ahead and dug a hole and immediately tossed his coins up and said the ones that will fall into the hole will be his and those outside the hole will be God’s. The second man used the same formula and he too tossed his coins up and said the ones that will fall into the hole belong to God and those outside are his. The third man looked at them and condemned the two men for being selfish and said that he believes that he is the most generous of them all. He tossed his coins and said those that will remain up belong to God and those that will fall down belong to Him.
The first two men represent the Moi and Kibaki governments but I wish not to dwell on them and the third man represents the Jubilee government. As a government you are now fully in operation having selected and appointed your members of cabinet and their respective principle secretaries. You managed to meet the constitutional mandate on gender balance on the appointments and for that I highly commend you. Also the men and women whom you selected are individuals with impeccable credentials and you managed to defy the historical notion of appointing former politicians. On matters of health, you managed to waive the maternity fees making our women able to deliver with pride and dignity in the comfort of our specialized medical personnel. For that every woman gives you a plus.
On these two matters your performance is above average and I hope you will continue to improve the health system through improving the remuneration of our medical personnel and also raising the standards of our health facilities. Unfortunately these are the only things that you have managed to deliver. Chapter four, Article 43, stipulates that-Every person has the right-
a) to the highest attainable standard of health, which includes the right to health care services, including reproductive health care; b) to accessible and adequate housing, and to reasonable standards of sanitation; c) to be free from hunger, and to have adequate food of acceptable quality; d) to social security; and d) to education
Sadly as I look at most of these fundamental rights which you are required to have delivered I can firmly say you have performed below average.
Today most citizens cannot afford a decent meal. During the debate on the proposed VAT Bill the Deputy President, who claims to be a “hustler”, said that the reason why they advocate for increase of VAT on maize meal is because those who go to supermarkets can afford it because they live in urban areas. Allow me to correct the Deputy President and say 98% of those who live in urban areas nowadays cannot afford to buy food from the supermarkets. Instead they go to local shops which purchase their products in bulk from supermarkets and then sell in small quantities making it more expensive in the long run. Inflation rates are too high forcing people to opt for 1 meal a day or the “kadogo economy” where a real hustler budgets for Kes 100 or less on a daily basis.
Insecurity has become a national disaster to a point where even our domestic animals are endangered by being maltreated forcing most us to be vegetarians. The fuel prices keep going up and the living conditions have become unbearable. Transport cost has doubled and now people are opting to walk to work. Unemployment rate continues to increase and the promise of 1 million jobs annually keeps fading away. Soon it may be referred to as a pipe-dream. On housing, most people are opting for informal settlements because the rent has doubled and most people cannot afford.
Bottom line the cost of living is too high. During the campaign period you tossed your well articulated manifesto claiming you will be generous by ensuring every Kenyan gets a decent living. As citizens we are still waiting but it seems all the promises have only fallen down to the main players in the government. Final verdict; you are still below average, but you got time to recover.
A Political Scientist.