, NAIROBI, Kenya Sept 2 – Water and Irrigation Minister Charity Ngilu launched her presidential bid on Sunday and pledged to focus on women and the youth empowerment if elected Kenya’s fourth President in next year’s General Elections.
Launching her bid on the Narc party at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre, the Kitui Central MP said she was confident of succeeding President Kibaki in her second attempt for the country’s top job.
Ngilu said that the youth and women have adversely been affected by the economic policies that do not favour them.
“The potential of the two groups in nation building has been overlooked in the last 49 years of independence due to poor leadership. Dear Kenyans we really must go back to the basics, our women will no longer be hustlers and sufferers,” she promised.
Ngilu also unveiled her manifesto, detailing five priority areas she aims to address should she be elected president.
“The key issues I intend to address are illiteracy; poverty; healthcare; food and water and the empowerment of women – issues that have lagged behind since independence,” she said.
The Water Minister claimed that the current regime had failed Kenyans.
“A leadership that fails our youths by not creating opportunities for them to exploits their potential but is quick to condemn them, a leadership that when poor women dance for them and give them handouts instead of giving the business contracts. Women of Kenya must now refuse to dance for leaders,” she said.
Ngilu also promised to boost the health sector in Kenya to ensure Kenyans do not seek medical care abroad.
“On education, my government will set aside money to support the employment of at least 5,000 teachers each year to deal with the teacher shortfall in our schools. I will re-engineer our education system by ensuring that all primary schools are ICT compliant through a program called one child-one laptop,” the Kitui Central MP pledged.
Ngilu said Kenya’s economic policies have in many years been in favour of trading partners which has left the country with an import bill of close to Sh140 billion, hence, making the country more poorer.
“This is the leadership we had for the last 50 years! A leadership has not been people centred. A leadership that has not been visionary and transformative. Kenyan we have been short changed,” she said.
Ngilu who joined the government in 2003 under President Mwai Kibaki’s first term said the NARC government came to power with much promise but only delivered free primary education, though with problems in implementation.
The minister who previously served in the health docket says that it’s possible for the government to offer quality and accessible healthcare to the people at Sh8 per Kenyan per day.
She attributed insecurity to high rates of unemployment among the youth and warned that the country would continue to spend more on security if the government failed to create jobs.
“We cannot continue condemning the youth for insecurity and yet we as the leadership have not invested in job creation. We are buying guns to protect who from whom?” she asked.
She gave commitment that her government would enhance the Women Enterprise Fund and build capacity for women to allow them take up 30 percent of government contracts.
Also among her top priorities is the reduction in the level of balance of trade and empowerment of local industries.
This will be Ngilu’s second attempt at the presidency after she unsuccessfully contested in 1997 then in the Social Democratic Party finished fifth in the election won by former President Moi.