Manifesto – Lies or Promises?

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Participants during Coffee Bar Tuesday. Photo: Peris Saleh

What is a manifesto? Do feel like the recent manifestos touched on some of the key issues that we as a community and different sectors are going through. The participants touched on the recent 4 manifestos launched by the presidential aspirants– Kenya Kwanza Coalition, Agano Party, Roots Party and Azimio La Umoja coalition. Majority of the participants were not in the creation process but were aware some meetings and different charters were happening. Participants viewed manifestos as promises, lies, an outline of what they are going to do and an agreement between the people and whoever is vying.

The 4 manifestos have similar points such as tackling the issue of corruption, reviving some of the sectors that are either collapsing or collapsed, creating a social protection plan, making education accessible and affordable to everyone, boosting the manufacturing sector and supporting the small and medium enterprises.

Participants felt that the majority of the manifestos didn’t have “the how” to raise the money to fund the manifestos. Azimio La Umoja has a good manifesto touching on different sectors but doesn’t explain how they will be able to accomplish what they have stated in their manifesto. Kenya Kwanza touches on crucial sectors but doesn’t explain how they are going to raise the money stated in their manifestos. The Roots Party’s manifesto touches on how we can be able to reduce the current debt but doesn’t touch on other sectors.

While perusing through some of the manifestos, we noted young people are not included in the manifestos especially the issue of job creation or how the jobs will be created. Out of 47.6 million Kenyans, 35.7 million are under the age of 35 and they are mostly the drivers of this country. If well empowered, they would be able to raise our current economy status to the next level. 

Majority of these manifestos will raise our debt ceilings to something that we will not be able to manage while others will make crucial sectors to underperform. A good manifesto should be able to include and cater everyone, it should not touch on some while assuming others. 

Wajackoyah has been in the limelight for his manifesto that proposes marijuana and snake farming in order to clear the current debt.

“Wajackoyah from The Roots Party has a very good plan for us in terms of creating employment through snake and marijuana farming but hasn’t talked about education, health, creatives or sports. Raila Odinga also has good plans for the textile company but he shouldn’t kill one sector to revive the other. He should work on how the two can complement each other.“ One Participant said

Johnson Sakaja signing Mukuru Peoples Manifesto. Photo Ruben Centre

With the coming elections it’s our role to elect someone who has a manifesto that will be able to change or elevate our life. Before voting, make sure you peruse through the manifestos and ask how they are going to achieve that, what they are going to use to accomplish that, where are they going to get the resources, when are they going to deliver and why are they focusing on that.

Majority of the points indicated in presidential manifestos will mostly be implemented by the national government while others will be aligned with gubernatorial manifestos. Our focus should not only be in the presidential manifestos but the gubernatorial also. The county government is in process of developing the County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP) and this is one of the ways in which we can also be able to push for our own priorities to be included in the CIDP. Let’s be on the lookout for the public participation advertisement. 

Mukuru Peoples Manifesto was launched and has been signed by MCAs, MPS and Governors. The Mukuru people’s manifesto outlines priorities drafted by the community. For so long the community has been promised a lot of things which are never implemented or are not a priority to the community. The peoples manifesto addresses Mukuru SPA, education, health, sanitation, electricity, land, governance and youth employment. The incoming aspirants should be able to include the peoples manifestos in their own. See you on Tuesday! 


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