Rachel Nyamai: President Kenyatta’s major achievements amid great challenges
President Uhuru Kenyatta has exceeded Kenyans’ expectations in terms of the development programmes he has been able to implement in spite of the difficult circumstances he faced before his election and in the early months of his presidency. And he has done so even in areas that were and are still antagonistic to his candidature.
When he and Deputy President William Ruto won in the March 4, 2013 election, they dynamic duo, as former President Mwai Kibaki described them, were bogged down by their cases at the International Criminal Court over the 2007/08 post-election violence.
Nevertheless, Kenyans invested their trust in the youthful pair which promised to unite the country and deliver on a manifesto that would remarkably turn around the economy and improve lives.
Four years down the line, the country is more united that ever before and major infrastructural projects dot most parts of the country. Free education for primary school kids and subsidized secondary learning have been enhanced almost all schools and an amazing number of homes including in far-flung regions connected to the national electricity grid.
The Standard Gauge Railway, which connects Nairobi and Mombasa and later Malaba has been completed. It promises to modernize travel,lower cost and improve efficiency in rail transport for both passengers and cargo.
More highways, urban roads and rural roads have either been completed or are in various stages of construction and the heavy investment is aimed at spurring economic activity, trade and commerce.
In its quest to transform Kenya into a knowledge-based economy, the government has heavily invested in Information and Communications Technology.
All class one pupils in public primary schools are being equipped with laptops and tablets and the project is set to be extended to private institutions.
Plans for the construction of the Konza technopolis are well on course.Ajira and Presidential Digital Talent Programme are other key programmes under ICT sector. Recently, the government invited investors eyeing the city to make their bids.
In health, the government has made heavy investments that have resulted in cheaper healthcare for Kenyans and free maternity services among others.
The National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) now caters for majority of Kenyans covering even those in informal sector and the unemployed. The Fund also covers many ailments that were not previously catered for. Under category A cover (government hospitals), members enjoy full and comprehensive cover for maternity and medical diseases including surgery. In short, they will not need to pay for anything on admission provided they are fully paid up members of NHIF.
The managed equipment service has seen many hospitals across the country equipped with the latest and advanced equipment that now means that in most cases, one does not need to travel to Kenyatta National Hospital or the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital for diagnosis and treatment.
In the security sector, the Jubilee administration has invested heavily in the recruitment of more police officers – 10,000 per year – a development had has seen Kenya nearly achieve the United Nations ratio of one officer to 400 civilians.
The police have also been provided with modern equipment and technology to enable them deal with emerging security threats.
A comprehensive medical and life insurance cover for police and prison officers and their families has also been introduced. Their salaries have also been greatly enhanced.
Previously, police officers who were injured or killed were virtually left to their devices and their families in distress respectively with the bureaucracy frustrating efforts to get compensation.
There is consensus that the Jubilee government has achieved most of its 2013 promises and more would have been realised were it not for the distraction early in its term fueled by their quest to clear their names at the ICC and initial cold reception by major world powers led by the United States, which have since changed tact after President Uhuru Kenyatta adopted the Look East policy.
The policy has seen Kenya benefit from massive bilateral loans and grants from China and other non-traditional and traditional partners that have helped Jubilee and its manifesto over the past four years.
Even critics quietly agree that if re-elected Uhuru and his deputy will be in a position to achieve even more development now that the ICC cases are behind them and given the many partnerships they have forged across the world.
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