President Kenyatta outlines six priorities for his second term


President Kenyatta outlines six priorities for his second term
President Uhuru Kenyatta being sworn in at Kasarani on November 29, 2017

President Uhuru Kenyatta was on Tuesday, November 28, 2017, sworn in for his second and final term in office at the Kasarani Sports Stadium in an event attended by thousands of Kenyans and foreign dignitaries.

After the official swearing-in ceremony, President Kenyatta outlined six main priorities which are part of his vision for the next five years.

 

Unity

After the country went through two divisive presidential elections in one year, President Kenyatta vowed that his top priority would be to strengthen the bonds of unity and nationhood.

“It is time for us as a people to learn that it is fine for us to agree to disagree while still strengthening our bonds of unity and nationhood. I have begun reaching out to all leaders across the political divide restating my commitment and expressing my willingness to work with them to achieve this objective of nationhood,” said Mr. Kenyatta.

Universal healthcare

The president said in the next five years, his government will target to realise 100% universal healthcare coverage for all. Kenyatta said his Jubilee government would ensure 13 million Kenyans and their dependents are beneficiaries of the healthcare scheme.

“This vision will be driven by a complete reconfiguration of the NHIF and reform of the laws governing private insurance companies,” he said.

Affordable housing

Mr. Kenyatta vowed that by 2022, his administration will create 500,000 new home owners.

This he said, would be achieved by attracting, from both public and private sources, the injection of patient, low-cost capital into the housing sector. Policy and administrative reforms targeted at lowering the cost of construction, and improving accessibility of affordable mortgages will also be sourced.

Jobs for the youth

On this agenda, the president said he would create an enabling environment for the manufacturers to do business in the country, hence, create more employment for the young population.

He directed that from 1st December 2017, power tariffs charged to manufacturers be reduced by 50 per cent between the hours of 10pm and 6am in line with the country’s policy of a 24-hour economy.

Further, he said his administration will focus on developing the following sub-sectors: agro-processing, textiles and apparel, leather processing, construction materials, innovation and IT, mining and extractives.

Food security

After the recent prolonged drought in various parts of the country, Mr. Kenyatta said the country had learnt painful and expensive lessons and it would be his priority to completely re-engineer the agricultural sector to be food secure.

“Over the next five years we shall invest heavily in securing our water towers and river ecosystems to harvest and sustainably exploit the potential of our water resources. We shall take steps to address idle arable land ownership and utilisation. We shall take steps to encourage and facilitate large scale commercial agriculture to help diversify our staples. We shall redesign subsidies to the sector to ensure they target improvements in food yields and production quality,” he said.

Improve service delivery

“It is not going to be business as usual,” said President Kenyatta vowing he will not allow “faceless bureaucrats and functionaries to deny the public the quality of service they deserve from their government.”

He pledged to address the institutional failings of governance by engaging with the Judiciary to address the protracted delays in the justice system, and “the use of the courts to sabotage the delivery of government programmes”.

The president said he will use Parliament to enact legislation to strengthen fiscal discipline and accountability at both the national and county levels.

He concluded by saying that this time round, “every shilling of the tax payer money must be fully accounted for.”

 

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Story By Benjamin Muriuki
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