, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 4 – Water and Irrigation Minister Charity Ngilu now wants President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga to support her presidential bid, saying they owe her a good turn.
Ngilu argues that she has previously supported the candidatures of Kibaki and Odinga and it is time now for them to pay back.
She told Capital FM News that she would not settle for the position of a running mate and will be on the ballot as a presidential candidate.
“In fact if president Kibaki was to be fair, he would now be saying that the leadership of this country is handed over to Charity Ngilu,” she insisted.
Ngilu was part of NARC which campaigned for president Kibaki’s election in 2002 but five years later in 2007 she decided to support Odinga’s candidature, after falling out with the president following his failure to support her proposed National Social Health Insurance Scheme.
The Kitui Central MP who credits herself with milestones in the health sector such as provision of anti retroviral drugs, reduction of infant and maternal mortality rates says that she will pick up from where she left and make healthcare more affordable.
“The health insurance scheme will definitely be back on the table; with only Sh8 per day, every Kenyan can get quality and affordable healthcare,” she says adding that government will cater for those who cannot pay the amount.
She reaffirms that under her leadership, the government will facilitate farmers to plant food and harvest at the right time. She says that government will buy directly from farmers locally grown crops like maize as opposed to importation.
She complained that the current government had misplaced its priorities by, for instance, importing vehicles worth about Sh69 billion while it spends only Sh5 billion on farm machines and equipment.
The water minister insisted that her government would balance the country’s developmental needs to put into mind the needs of the majority poor.
“We are talking of a grand airport, the Lamu Port all which is very good, but it is the basics that lay the foundation. As long as over 50 percent of our people cannot participate in development we will continue to have poor people around,” she said.
As opposed to the continuous construction of super highways, Ngilu commits to constructing a light railway transport system targeting the majority of the working industries.
Ngilu who talks of passion and experience as her top attributes was categorical that other problems in the country only required decisive leadership.
She however declined to talk about the amount of money she will pump into her campaign although she still aims to traverse the entire country.
“I may not have the kind of money that other people have, but I am certain that I will be able to fuel my car and go to the people,” she said.
The minister who has been Kitui Central MP for two decades now says that although she has delivered in her capacities as MP and minister, her study of leadership and management at St Paul’s University – from where she is due to graduate in October – places her at a better position to be Kenya’s Commander-in-Chief.