Monday, June 11, 2007

Musalia Mudavadi:A Less Polarizing Presidential Aspirant!

By Musalia Mudavadi

As President, the well-being of Kenyans will inform our decisions.
I will rid our country and people of the indignities of widespread deprivation. I will ensure that each Kenyan enjoys maisha bora. This includes money in people’s pockets, a situation where each person feels safe and appreciated, and where mutual respect and peaceful co-existence prevail.

My leadership seeks to create a prosperous and inclusive economy. I will improve productivity and sustained double-digit economic growth; promote equitable distribution of this growth by eliminating the skewed distribution of resources and ensure a stable and predictable economic environment, where businesses thrive and savings are possible.

I will improve the well-being of ordinary Kenyans by reducing taxes, promoting gainful employment, addressing the land question and reducing the number of people below the poverty line by half and in the long term eliminate poverty.
I will put in place an integrated financial service system that allows efficient mobilisation of domestic savings and broad enough to attract foreign capital, particularly through the issuance of debt and equity securities.
My leadership will establish a more efficient capital market by ensuring that participants play by the rules and the Capital Markets Authority is revamped to efficiently perform its supervisory role.

My programmes reach out to the poor, the unemployed and the under-employed, majority of who are the youth, people with disabilities and women-headed households. My leadership will make quality infrastructure a key strategy to spur equitable growth.
We will correct imbalances by streamlining Government allocations. We will increase investment in the construction of a modernised, integrated and cost-effective national transport system.

We shall implement the National Roads Master Plan and increase the tarmacked road network by 100 per cent, construct major inter-regional highways and link the country with major national border points.
We will modernise urban transport to make it efficient and cost-effective by promoting a mass-transit system for Nairobi, and reduce drastically time spent travelling.

For instance, most commuters in Nairobi and other major cities spend up to six hours a day covering a distance of less than 40km to and from work! This is a great loss and nearly approximates time spent at work.
In energy, my administration will ensure new legislation that will encourage investment by independent generators and distributors of electricity and bio-fuels.
We will encourage investment in solar and wind power in northern Kenya. With time, technological infrastructure to manufacture wind and solar power equipment will start to grow. Investors will be encouraged to start or invest in such centres through tax rebates.

My leadership will change the face of rural Kenya and make it attractive and unique.
I will stimulate and support investment in rural industries and businesses, provide infrastructure, including roads, water, telecommunications, power supply and supportive growth of rural centres; invest in small-scale farmers, small and micro-enterprises, fisheries, pastoral areas and arid and semi-arid lands and rid them of the artificial poverty that has characterised them since independence.
In transforming rural livelihoods, I will reach and change the lives of more than 26 million Kenyans, nearly two thirds of who are women and youth.
My leadership will dignify rural life by promoting goal-oriented livelihoods, recognising the unique potential of each and improving rural incomes.

I will build a knowledge society. In primary school, I will ensure provision of quality education. This will begin with decent classrooms, libraries, laboratories, offices and sanitary facilities; adequate equipment and learning materials; qualified teachers and other personnel and keep the teacher-pupil ratio at a maximum of 1:40.

In particular, we will equip educational institutions with facilities for special education. In the short term, my leadership will use affirmative action to expand opportunities for continuing education to people with disabilities.
This will be enhanced with the provision of pre-unit infrastructure in all public primary schools, increasing the number of primary by 25 per cent of the current 20,000 and legislating to make primary school education compulsory before the age of 16.

I will make secondary education available and accessible. To this end, we will provide levy-free secondary education, increase the number of schools by 15 per cent of the current 4,000, make the school curriculum relevant; institute affirmative action in favour of the girl and provide for special education facilities in public schools.

The initiatives will reduce the cost of education and parents’ burden. Indeed, levies and building fund constitute a major hindrance to education access. In some situations, children only learn under trees or a semblance of classrooms.

The writer is an ODM-Kenya presidential aspirant and former VP.

Published on June 12, 2007, 12:00 am

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