One of the greatest parables ever told is that of the Chinese Bamboo Tree. The tree, like any other plant, requires water, fertile soil and sunshine to grow. In the first year of its growth, a farmer will not see any visible signs of activity.
For the next three years, there is still no noticeable growth above the soil. But finally, in the fifth year, a miracle happens. The farmer notices explosive growth from the tree! The Chinese Bamboo Tree shoots up almost 80 feet in just six weeks.
Of course, the 80 feet in six weeks may be a stretch. But had the tree not developed a strong unseen foundation it could not have sustained its life as it grew.
Just like the bamboo tree, President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government has been strengthening the roots holding Kenya to ensure we have explosive growth. The proverbial six weeks growth is only possible because of the four-and-a-half years of strengthening and developing our roots.
And as we go into the last month of the campaign period, Uhuru’s competitors will be presenting their roadmap for the next five years. The colorful manifestos with promises of a good life for all Kenyans will be a point of focus with the August 8 poll date fast approaching.
Uhuru’s main competitor, ODM’s Raila Odinga, unveils his manifesto with which he is promising Kenyans will improve their lives today.
As an incumbent, President Uhuru and the Jubilee administration can only make one promise: That they will diligently continue with the good work they have been doing. The launched their reelection manifesto yesterday.
We all remember that the Jubilee manifesto launched in 2013 was aptly titled “Agenda for Kenya 2013 -17 and Beyond”. This means that the Jubilee manifesto was not to be implemented fully in the first term as the visionary stance was to achieve some by 2017 and achieve more later.
But we know that the opposition, as we have all observed, will try to discredit and downplay the achievements of the Jubilee administration while trying to state that they will do a better job.
NASA has told Kenyans that it will make the Mombasa- Nairobi road a dual carriage and extend this to Nakuru, Kericho and Kisumu. What the opposition is not telling Kenyans is that all this is part of Vision 2030 and is already being implemented by Jubilee.
Jubilee has stated that it will put in place free secondary education and enhance free primary education, which has been copied as a manifesto pledge by NASA. In addition, Jubilee plans, in the new curriculum, to include a third compulsory UN language to ensure our youth have the skills they require without burdening parents.
Jubilee is already doing a lot to boost farming in the country by reviving various sectors such as coffee, cotton, sugar and miraa. NASA can, therefore, not promise what is already happening.
To enhance food security, Jubilee has announced subsidies to reduce fertiliser cost to below Sh1,500 and implement projects to reduce reliance on rain fed agriculture in arid and semi-arid areas. In the long run, this will enhance food production in the country, thus reducing the cost of living and foodstuffs.
In addition, Jubilee is introducing free internship programme for all graduates. The usual request by employers for experience will be a thing of the past as hundreds of thousands of graduates per year will benefit from this programme.
The Jubilee administration will also enhance the free maternity care package introduced in 2013 by expanding it to include free maternal care for mothers and their newborns for a year.
While NASA promises pension for the elderly, Jubilee has already put in place structures to ensure all Kenyans over 70 years get a monthly stipend and NHIF cover.
There is a lot more that one can fault the NASA manifesto for but one thing is clear, it is a false promise to Kenyans.