Give the Jubilee administration leeway to work

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BY MACHEL WAIKENDA

Kenya’s national Executive is headed by President Uhuru Kenyatta who was democratically elected by Kenyans in March 2013. Kenya, therefore, has no vacuum and Kenyans have asked President Kenyatta to exercise their sovereign power.

In exercising this power, Mr Kenyatta is the President of all the 40 million Kenyans – those who elected him and those who voted for the Opposition. He is a symbol of national unity and represents us at international forums.

He is the country’s CEO who must be allowed to run the country. Any person who wants to see progress in the country has a patriotic duty to support the President and his government. Empty rhetoric and politicking only serves to divide an already divided nation further dealing a blow to efforts to help Kenyans remain cohesive in their collective aim to becoming a middle-income economy.

Whether in Kisumu, Kiambu, Garissa, Lamu, Samburu or Turkana, every Kenyan is seeking an opportunity to make their lives and those of their loved ones better. Poverty, unemployment, high cost of living, disease and all other challenges do not only affect the Opposition. Even Jubilee supporters are going through the same and the Kenyatta administration is clearly working hard to ensure livelihoods are bettered.

At the end of it all, we will judge the President, Jubilee Governors and MPs by the development they will have achieved by 2017. We can help the President filter the noise from the Opposition by focusing on development and growing the economy. We cannot do this by throwing Kenya under the bus, disrespecting the rule of law and undermining our ability to negotiate a better deal for Kenyans.

This week, the President launched a programme that will see partnership with the private sector to build roads. This will see the coverage of the tarmacked road network in the country grow by more the 10,000km and raise the full cover to 24,000 km.

The President also signed into law the Division of Revenue Bill which will see County Governments get Sh226 billion. This is Sh30 billion more than what they had in the last financial year.

This is why we have in place devolution – so that we may have resources reaching wananchi. We, therefore, have a working President who is operating for the good of our good country. He understands his mandate, accepts his limitations, accepts the role of an official opposition – having led one himself – and has the commitment to seeing the forest despite the individual characteristic of each tree.

And as one sage put it: “The key to success when small potential influences the larger scene is to avoid pretentious ambitions and grandiose goals. The power of the small is served by slow and steady advancement, and succeeds through an honest awareness of its own limitations, without reservation.”

The President recently led regional leaders in the youth unemployment summit where he revealed that the Government has also developed a national employment policy which now awaits Parliament’s approval.

In the spirit of inclusivity, the President has been meeting members from different regions of the country including those who voted against Jubilee. This respect that the President has demonstrated needs reciprocation.

However, we find ourselves in a state where the opposition is preparing to drive the country into another divisive campaign period for a referendum. We are being driven to a period where we will be more focused on politics instead of working.

The Opposition should be thinking of how to win the next elections, if it can, rather than distract the President, the government and working Kenyans. CORD and especially its main partner, ODM has no place lecturing Uhuru on how to run the country when they cannot run a political party – we all remember the botched elections. Winning doesn’t always mean being first; winning means you are doing better than you have done before and we can all be winners by supporting the man at the helm.

Jubilee leaders, in and out of Parliament, have a duty to stick with the President and support him in his endeavors. With resources amounting to billions of shillings made available by the government, Jubilee leaders must call a bluff on the opposition and show naysayers how wananchi can benefit from a unified resolve.

Jubilee leaders must ensure that the millions of young people who are seeking opportunity take advantage of existing resource by encouraging them to sign up to Uwezo Fund and the 30 percent procurement opportunities set aside for the youth and women.

Just as the national government is focusing on priority areas across the country, elected leaders should identify key focus areas for their constituents. They must ensure that County funds and the Constituency Development Funds are well utilized to making their areas model counties and constituencies.

Kenyans of goodwill should support the President so that we can all meet our individual and collective aspirations. We can play our part by giving the President peace of mind to focus on Project Kenya.

(The writer is a political and communications consultant. Twitter @MachelWaikenda)

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