President spells out vision
Published on October 1, 2007, 12:00 am
By Alex Ndegwa
President Kibaki launched his campaign for a second term in office when he unveiled his re-election vehicle, the Party of National Unity (PNU).
One message stuck out in the President’s address: Granting of equal opportunities and a share of the national cake.
|Kanu chairman, Mr Uhuru Kenyatta, greets supporters in Eastleigh Estate on his way to Nyayo Stadium on Sunday. Picture by Govedi Asutsa|
He dwelt on his achievements since 2003, and his vision in the next five years. Kibaki reiterated that his Government would roll out the free secondary education and healthcare should voters pick him in the December polls.“We will ensure that the PNU is united in one common purpose — providing equal opportunity for all Kenyans,” Kibaki told thousands of supporters who jammed the Nyayo National Stadium.
The Head of State said reforms effected by the Narc Government had borne fruits, including 6.1 per cent economic growth that had lifted more than two million people out of poverty.
But the President conceded that more needed to be done to ensure the benefits trickled down to the common mwananchi.
Kibaki expressed optimism that PNU policies would double that growth, “spreading economic benefits to all Kenyans, and creating jobs and business opportunities in every part”.
Revenues generated by a larger economy, he added, would finance the envisaged free education and health services.
He added: “The challenge we now face is to expand and distribute wealth and the benefits of improved public service management, so that wealth is not confined to our cities or in the hands of few.”
The president appeared to respond to criticism that his Government had failed to promote equal distribution of national wealth and claims that he had presided over a skewed allocation of resources, including biased appointments to plum State jobs.
Kibaki also dismissed claims that he had reneged on the 2002 election pledges. “We have kept our promises and delivered much more than we expected five years ago,” he said.
He cited democratic freedoms, public service reforms, and the fight against corruption, the Constituencies Development Fund, improved roads and rural electrification.
Kibaki also listed the setting up of the Sh2 billion youth and women kitties, and the construction of more than 1,000 health centres that had “brought affordable healthcare closer to the people”.
“We have made a good start, but the task is not yet complete. We will not rest until it is complete and until the vision we have set out for our nation is achieved,” he said.
In the speech, which the President did not read but dwelt on off-the-cuff address, he gave a
|Cabinet ministers, Mr Mutua Katuku, Mr Njeru Ndwiga, Dr Newton Kulundu, Mr Mutahi Kagwe and Mr Kiraitu Murungi celebrate the launch of the Party of National Unity at Nyayo Stadium, on Sunday. Picture by Martin Mukangu|
pledge that PNU would transform the country into Africa’s most competitive manufacturing and services hub. This would be realised, he said, by doubling of investment in infrastructure to build world-class roads, railways, airports and seaports and water supply.
As he appealed for another term, Kibaki recalled with nostalgia his address at Uhuru Park during inauguration in 2002 when he spoke “of the rays of sunlight that had bathed my room with such brilliance on that morning”.
Drawing parallels with the Sunday occasion, Kibaki said: “Today is as bright a day for our nation as my election to office in 2002 was”.
He said the launch of the alliance of parties re-affirmed his commitment to “staying the course” outlined in 2002 and “completing the journey we embarked on