Rieko Mwenyewe takes a personal look at the scorecard of the Kenya Kwanza Government taking into account the positive and negative issues at hand…
President William Ruto started well by appointing the Appeal Court Judges previously rejected by President Uhuru Kenyatta for diverse reasons that were not disclosed at the time.
The President promised to increase the allocation of funds to the Supreme Court by 3 Billion Shillings to help the Court perform its duties on time and to get through the far too many cases outstanding over the years. The President appointed 21 more Judges of the High Court to increase the current low number at the High Court.
The President promised to put in place the Budget and Financial Account for the National Police Service to make it independent from the Treasury’s National Consolidated Account to to improve operations at the NPS.
The famous Hustlers Fund was launched even though the details were not made known to the borrowers. In particular, it was not disclosed by the President how the Fund will be managed and more so how the saved money for the borrowers can be claimed and when.
The subsidy of fertilizers for farmers to help agricultural production and improve food security was introduced as the spiralling of costs of living is increasing day by day. Kenyans however, are slowly losing hope of having low cost of living.
The President, with cabinet approval, lifted the ban of GMO Foods in Kenya although some people are opposed to the lifting of the ban.
The President promised to work with all the people of Kenya irrespective of how they voted and has already visited Homabay, Nyandarwa, and Kakamega.
The President created positions which are not included in the Kenya Constitution Amendment Act of 2010, such as creating the office of Prime Cabinet Secretary. This position was vehemently opposed by the President when he was campaigning when he said that the Asimiyo Team was just creating positions for their cronies.
The President did not take into account the diversity of Kenya when he appointed Cabinet Secretaries from mostly only two regions, Rift Valley with eight and Central Kenya better known as Mt. Kenya also with eight positions leaving the rest of Kenya with eight positions. He did the same in respect of Principal Secretaries where a total of 26 positions went to the same two regions. Granted these regions voted for Kenya Kwanza and the President but the 6.9 million who voted for Azimiyo La Umoja and and the 8.5 million people who did not vote also matter.
Perhaps the issue which will attract the most objection against the President is the notion of suggesting the introduction into Parliament for discussion to put in place the position of Official Opposition to be entrenched into the Constitution of Kenya, without involving public participation whch will become a highly contested matter.
Already a number of interested parties are geared towards approaching the High Court to file objections to this idea. Further more Asimiyo La Umoja and like-minded groups are saying that this is one of the fundemental issues which was fronted by the Building Bridges Initiative which President Ruto was opposed to and was ultimately nullified by the Courts of Kenya including Supreme Court. Moreover, this particular amendment can only be carried out following a referendum which was also opposed by President Ruto, the Law Society of Kenya and Katiba Watch.
President William Ruto has promised much but can it be achieved? Many people remain to be convinced. After 90 days in office little tangible progress has been achieved by the Kenya Kwanza.
The performance of Kenya Kwanza and President William Ruto, though mostly populist in nature, could yet be positive if he involves public participation before announcing the enactment of measures otherwise they will be taken as a lot of hot air.