By Raphael Masinde
In 2013 the Jubilee coalition took power after a fiercely contested general election which saw a new administration in place and a new president elected. This was to be the first administration since independence to oblige with the Kenyan constitution promulgated on the August 2010.
Prior to the polls a manifesto had to be unveiled. A manifesto containing pledges, promises that were to guide the development agenda for five years before evaluation in the coming general election in august 2017.
Some of the promises made in the pomp announcement of the jubilee manifesto in 2013 included:
- Dealing with security issues both in the within Kenya and beyond the borders.
This pledge was supposed to be one of the pillars of the Kenyan development agenda since over the years Kenya has been affected by insecurity both by natives and aliens who want to weaken the bond with Kenya and its East African neighbours.
I however acknowledge that the Jubilee administration has been made step in improving security in schools with the new Matiang’i rules.
- Creation of a million meaningful jobs annually.
Out of the latter figure they have managed about 80%. However the private sector in the country has seen many firings more than hirings, citing financial constraints to be able to accommodate more fresh graduates hence more skilled yet jobless individuals. This situation goes hand in hand with the first point of insecurity whereby the jobless ones will do what it takes to survive. With many of the working class people in Kenya being dismissed, this would mean that many children who are dependent on their parents and guardians to suffer since they would be forced to step up and fend for themselves. A situation that would be called child labour.
In the rebranded one Jubilee has pledged to create 1.3 million jobs an addition of 300,000 jobs to the 2013 promise. One might question how they will achieve this target when they haven’t reached the 2013 target and still employees are being laid off from their beloved professions.
- Enough food and water production to ensure food security.
The Galana Kulalu ranch irrigation project is a sensitive issue of discussion in Kenya where a 1.75 million acre land is said to be under irrigation, livestock and crop production for the whole country, and sustainable utilization of natural resources. A breakdown of the produce to come from it is:
- 500,000 acres for maize and rotational crops like beans
- 200,000 acres for beef and game animals
- 150,000 acres for horticultural products and potatoes
- 100,000 acres for dairy products
- 50,000 acres for orchards, and other fruits.
This project has however been a failure since Kenyans have been struck by droughts that have been vaguely predicted over the years and mitigation of the droughts hasn’t come from the vast ranch. Failure of maize production for instance has been mitigated by importing the precious Kenyan diet from foreign countries allegedly Mexico and South Africa.
The drought plus the failed maize produce in Kenya has made families to forgo meals and the most vulnerable are children who aren’t sometimes stronger to sustain the pangs of hunger after a long day without food both in school and at home. School feeding programmes have been initiated but when it’s very late after a number of our children have met their demise due to starvation.
- Quality education for every child.
In terms of education the jubilee coalition promised laptop computers for every class one pupil every year. This promise was bashed as a misplaced priority several times by a number of citizens. Some began planning for the government and asking them to first retrofit the rundown schools and their respective classrooms, so that children can have a better environment for learning such that when these computers arrive they have desks to place them on.
The purported free primary education is a failed promise over the years since the former president Mwai Kibaki introduced it in his administration. It is free yet expensive at the same time.
Just like the other promises Jubilee has promised to expand free education. Still a mystery of how free is free when parents are paying for fees and children are missing classes due to school fees.
The general elections are fast approaching and the manifestos have been re-branded, some copy pasted some brand new to the voter in Kenya. These policies and promises are affecting Kenyans especially children who are the next generation. In a nutshell Jubilee has just increase the numbers as opposed to the 2013 one and pledged to expand every project they have started.
The above and more promises are the major ones that affect children and are supposed to be implemented especially the recent re coated ones from Jubilee coalition.
Raphael is a Journalist with Mtoto News
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