Top Stories / 2017 Elections
Tuesday, 05 Sep 2017 19:59 EAT
Contrary to President Uhuru Kenyatta’ re-centralization policy, NASA leader Raila Odinga has pledged to deepen and strengthen devolved system of governance.
He has promised three things. First, to ensure the allocations to county governments are increased proportionate to the national revenue share. He has promised that big budget allocations to national ministries, departments and agencies must significantly be reduced as majority of them have policy and regulatory mandate while Counties hold crucial responsibility of service delivery. Raila has adopted a policy of more county, less national policy.
Secondly, Raila has promised to restructure, align, rationalize and downsize the national ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) and regional sector wide authorities to accord with and respect the devolved system of government to remove costly, parallel and duplicating functions and also release more funds being held unconstitutionally by national MDAs. This also includes massive overhaul of national policies, regulations and laws to bring them into conformity with the Constitution and devolution.
Finally, he is pledged to strengthen democratic institutions that facilitate intergovernmental relations and ensure national institutions support devolution to build better constructive engagement between national and county governments.
Raila has promised people of Kenya to fundamentally alter the economic, fiscal, taxation and labour policy. Unlike Uhuru’s high capital, borrowing economy model, Raila has adopted a people centered, middle and below inclusive economy and reduce taxation burden by broadening the taxation base.
In the last four years the country has seen national government adopting and implementing a dangerous debt-propelled economy. Exports, agriculture yields and manufacturing have been declining tremendously. Raila has promised to contain, reduce and wean out borrowing to create friendly environment to access cheap credit to invest and create jobs.
Raila’s policy will see county governments play significant role in determining economic, fiscal and taxation policy of the country and also help secure their broad financial autonomy sustainability in several key ways. First, Raila’s policy promise to support county governments contribute in various ways to an enabling environment for pro-poor economic growth and foster effective and efficient registration and licences for business and property activities.
Secondly, this policy would enable County governments focus on economy based on export-led growth, manufacturing and diversification through building transparent and favorable competitiveness environment and property rights regime that support business.
Raila’s economic policy strengthens the devolved system of government as driver of transforming the peasantry’s rural agricultural economy into modern high yield value added export-oriented productivity. This will lead to the strengthening of the county-based local private sector, building inter-counties economic cooperation and supporting local small scale businesses and manufacturing.
Raila’s policy directly addresses the deteriorating social and economic material conditions of the Kenyan people; unfavourable economic competiveness and business unfriendly environment of the country especially for middle and small scale businesses; building sustainable secure environment friendly livelihoods of the people; and tackling inequality
Raila has adopted a hybrid policy with specialized security agencies handling strategic security matters and localized policing and law enforcement as the bedrock of successful policing and crime prevention. His policy promises to devolve certain policing services to address the security and policing system in context of devolved system of government and be responsible for public safety and security within the County. Also this policy pledges to decentralize and strengthen judicial, prosecutorial and other criminal justice systems at county level to expedite and facilitate fair, easier access to justice and resolution of disputes
Raila has pledged to institute comprehensive land reforms to ensure accessibility of land resources fairly by all citizens, create transparent land and property registry at county level, and enforce equitable share of natural resources wealth. Raila policy will also seek to strengthen National Land Commission and set up mechanism to tackle not only the historical land injustice but also the broad spectrum of human rights violations. Uhuru has spent the last four years in office undermining every aspect of land reforms. He has adopted obstructionist policy to land reforms.
On youth and employment solution, Raila notes that even with high technology in the world, two thirds of all jobs are still in the middle and lower skills range. Initiatives such as NYS, Youth Fund etc are outdated and irrelevant. When you look at the data, Kenya has deficit of more than 300,000 well-trained artisans and technicians in various sectors. These are the real productive people who are needed daily.
Raila pledges sustainable long term program of building knowledgeable, innovative and skilled labour. NYS has to be disbanded and or completely overhauled. All its facilities and resources should be converted into technical training colleges to specifically train real skilled artisans and technicians. He promises to move away from artificial pacifying solutions to young people employment problems to comprehensive apprenticeship policy program that builds strong partnerships between County and National governments, University and colleges and private sector (industry).
Apprenticeship should be open to persons of all age groups within the statutory school leaving age. Raila notes that these apprenticeship programs will offer an industry-proven approach for preparing young people for careers while meeting employers’ need for a highly-skilled workforce. The programs will start early when students join (or even before joining college) in identified areas of study/skill development.
He notes that the billions of money lost through NYS looting projects and other corruption deals in Youth fund, and national government projects will ensure a fully funded skills and productivity support apprenticeship program for students where they earn stipend while on the program. The students will work directly with county and national government departments as well as in private sector. This program dubbed ‘Learn, Work and Earn for Sustainable Inclusive Economy in the 21st century’ will be based on different career pathways that are tied to industry sectors that will be growing and globally competitive, including pathways in the green sector.
Raila vision for new Kenya is contrary to Uhuru is foreign policy. Raila has pledged to adopt a progressive human rights-based policy with well-grounded foresight to advance the country’s strategic, trade, economic and security interests regionally and globally. Uhuru's foreign policy has been about his personal and his government legitimization.
Raila is promised people of Kenya a policy structural shifts necessary to realize the conditions forgenerational equity, gender equality and the fulfilment of human rights obligations of the state. Uhuru has bestowed young people with enormous debt with no fruits. He has spent four years without fulfilling constitutional obligations to implement policy of gender equality, inclusivity and intergenerational equity.
The writer is the Executive Director of the International Center for Policy and Conflict (ICPC).