BY NGUNJIRI WAMBUGU
Many things have been written about the forthcoming Limuru 2B meeting this Wednesday. Most Kenyans see the meeting as a public statement from members of the Kikuyu, Meru and Embu communities that we do not agree with the politics of ethnic exclusion and tribal alliances that some leaders are trying to sell to us as the way forward after President Kibaki retires.
Others see it as a platform where a new generation of opinion leaders from all over the country congregate to declare that everyone will only prosper when all of Kenya prospers. Others are coming to the meeting with only one message; ‘Kenya Yetu, Si Mtu Wetu’ (Our Kenya is not My Tribesman).
However Limuru 2B is much more than just a rebellion or platform; it is also where we compare alternative visions of Kenya, to the one being sold by what I call ‘separist’ ethnic outfits. A key alternative vision to be presented at Limuru 2B is the Vision 2030, Kenya’s long-term development blueprint that explains how Kenya can transform from a 3rd world economy to a newly industrialising country in the next 18 years.
If you have interacted with any presentation by the Vision 2030 Secretariat then you are familiar with the depiction of the vision in the form of a traditional African Hut; with the ‘vision’ as the roof and three main pillars as the support of this roof over the heads of Kenyans.
The first pillar is the economy and our ‘roof’ requires a sustained economic growth of at least 10 percent each year. The second pillar is social relations, and this vision calls for us to exist as a just and cohesive society, where there is equitable social development and a clean and secure environment. The third pillar is politics and to achieve this vision requires us to practice issue-based, people-centred, result-oriented politics; and to do so in an accountable democratic system.
At Limuru 2B we will compare the GEMA and KAMATUSA economic policy suggestions as based on what was in existence in their hey-days, with the economic pillar of Vision 2030. The Vision 2030 pillar asks us to focus on 10 key sectors that form the foundation of our nation’s economic growth; i.e. Macroeconomic stability which is a prerequisite for long term development; developments in infrastructure, energy, STI (science, technology and innovation), Land Reforms, Human Resource Development, Security and/or Public Service Reforms.
I cannot seem to understand what the GEMA/KAMATUSA proponents have as a social pillar, but the Vision 2030 one asks us to look at six key areas, i.e.: education and training; health; water and sanitation; environment; housing and urbanization; and gender, youth and vulnerable groups.
Politically it is quite clear that the GEMA/KAMATUSA ideology is about how to split Kenya into religious, tribal and demographic units, and pit them against each other in some form of divide and rule. Vision 2030 on the other hand tells us to look at what we can do in five strategic areas to transform Kenya’s political governance; i.e. rule of law; electoral and political processes; democracy and public service delivery; transparency and accountability; and security, peace-building and conflict resolution.
The foundation of the Vision 2030 ‘hut’ looks at the systems and process that need to be in place for these pillars to exist; what Mugo Kibati calls the ‘enablers and macro-foundations’ of our ‘hut’ that include cross cutting infrastructural development, public sector reforms and macroeconomic stability, etc. The GEMA/KAMATUSA vision does not deal with this at all.
The lowest foundation and fundamental part of Vision 2030, upon which the entire structure rests, is the development of a National Value System.
GEMA/KAMATUSA proponents would like us to believe that issues like respect for our humanity are not important; or how else would they find nothing wrong with trying to marshal support behind individuals suspected of having committed crimes against humanity, whilst trying to postpone the processes that could very well find them innocent?. Limuru 2B will look at whether there is need to launch a signature campaign calling upon all Kenyan Citizens to step up, again, and sign up as ‘Kenyans for Kenya’.
Vision 2030 on the other hand calls upon us to develop a national value system that will enable Kenya be a globally competitive and prosperous country, with a high quality of life for all its citizens, and a newly industrializing country. Some of the tangibles of this include the Lamu Port Southern Sudan Ethiopia Transport Corridor; a Great Equitorial Land Bridge that is a multi-aspect transport system literally cutting Africa in half and joining Lamu directly to Duoala. This will be a natural trade route between the Eastern and Western nations of the world; imagine the trade opportunities for Kenya! Then of course there is the ‘One’; Africa’s largest building shaped like Kenya’s National Shield Emblem.
I know GEMA/KAMATUSA sees Kenya as mini-nations, while Vision 2030 speaks of Kenya as one nation with amazing potential. I have a feeling Limuru 2B will opt to go the Vision 2030 route.
(Ngunjiri Wambugu is the convenor of Change Associates. firstname.lastname@example.org)