, KUTUS, Kenya, Jun 28 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has urged voters to stand together to protect gains made under his administration, which he said were starting to translate to personal benefit for millions of Kenyans.
“We have achieved much together. United, and working peacefully, we are making progress,” the President said on a campaign stop in Kutus, Kirinyaga County.
He said he had read the Opposition manifesto presented on Tuesday, which he found offered nothing new, but had the potential to undermine progress under his administration, and deny Kenyans the benefit of enjoying the fruits of government investments over the last few years.
For example, he said with the building of fibre optic infrastructure across the country, key to migration to digital platforms, he was surprised to hear that the opposition wanted to stop digital learning for schools so that they would be given books.
“Come out and vote. We need more time to deepen the work we are doing. When done, these things will directly positively impact your lives,” the President said.
He said plans are at an advanced stage to construct Thiba Dam at a cost of Sh9.5 billion in Mwea to ease water challenges in this rice farming area, while the Kerugoya – Kutus Bulk Water Supply that will be constructed at a cost of Sh1.1 billion to serve 250,000 residents is also in the pipeline.
President Kenyatta, on the campaign swing in Kirinyaga County, said the progress the country has made in the last four years should not be allowed to be watered down by the opposition. The opposition has said it will reverse all the major developments achieved under the Jubilee Administration if they form the next government.
The President, who was accompanied by Deputy President William Ruto and a host of other Jubilee leaders from the county, used the meet-the-people tour to highlight the development initiatives of his administration over the last four-and-a-half years.
He said Kirinyaga residents should give his team a second term to deliver more progress, and make it count for every individual.
“Ours is a government that seeks to provide solutions to the challenges facing the people unlike our opponents whose mainstay has been ranting and raving about problems with no attempts to offer solutions,” President Kenyatta said.
President Kenyatta assured that his administration is eager to address all the development needs in line with the Jubilee Manifesto he launched on Monday that covers youth empowerment, health, education and infrastructure development roadmap for the next five years.
On health, President Kenyatta said his administration invested Sh810 million to modern medical equipment to Kerugoya Level 5 Hospital and Kianyaga Level 4 Hospital through the Managed Equipment Services (MES) project to ensure residents have access to specialised health care that was previously out of their reach.
Under the MES project, Kerugoya Level 5 Hospital and Kianyaga Level 4 Hospital received theatre, sterilization and surgical sets, imaging and radiology equipment at a cost of Sh430mn and Sh380mn respectively.
The President said his administration has also expanded the reach of NHIF to increase the number covered from 3.8 million in 2013 to 6.8 million Kenyans by 2017 and intends to increase the number to 13 million Kenyans in the next five years.
“We have expanded NHIF to ensure that as long as any Kenyan has an NHIF card, they can receive health care services not only in government hospitals but also in mission and private hospitals,” President Kenyatta said.
He said all senior citizens aged 70 years and above will also have access to free treatment under the expanded NHIF package which also provides a one-and-a-half year NHIF insurance cover for all new born babies and their mothers.
Through its manifesto, the Jubilee Party also assures families with physically challenged children that they will get insured under the new scheme. It also promises to set up 10 new referral hospitals across the country to ensure quality healthcare at the county level.
On youth empowerment, President Kenyatta said his administration has attracted more foreign investment than ever before, bringing millions of jobs to Kenya for the youth.
President Kenyatta’s administration has created 2.3 million jobs in the last four years and the recently launched digital Ajira programme will ensure that every young person seeking employment is registered and can be connected to online jobs.
In the next five years, the Jubilee administration seeks to use the Youth Development Council to link young people to employment opportunities and ensure the National Youth Service (NYS) offers opportunities in commercial projects locally and abroad.
President Kenyatta also spoke on the infrastructure projects in Kirinyaga County where the national Government has invested heavily on road construction to open up the area for economic growth.
In the last four years, the Government has invested over Sh9.9 billion on the construction of roads stretching 246 kilometres in the country, which are at different stages of completion.
The President, however, warned that contractors who delayed to complete their assigned road projects on time and on budget would be blacklisted.
“We cannot allow lazy contractors to deny people good roads that would ease transportation and boost the economy,” President Kenyatta said.