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Kenya Elections 2022

The People’s Manifesto Must Be Inclusive Of Economic And Political Institutions

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By Auscar Odhiambo Wambiya

As the race towards August 2022 elections hots up in Kenya, debate rages on economic and development models that Kenya should adopt in the post elections dispensation.

In the recent weeks, we have seen political parties hold public rallies, listening tours and national delegates conferences to either unveil presidential candidates or adopt economic or development models that they seek to champion if or when they form government after the elections.

As ultimate presidential candidates spruce up their manifestos,  ahead of their launch towards August 2022, it is essential that the people’s manifesto wins.

What does a people’s manifesto portend? Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson in their book, “Why Nations Fail; The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty,” answer with the argument that economic and political institutions are the greatest people centered engines of prosperity among and within nations. Further, that inclusive economic and political institutions are those that allow and encourage participation by the great mass of people in economic and political activities, that make the best use of their talents and skills and that enable individuals to make the choices they wish. To be inclusive, the people’s manifesto must feature ideas on how to secure private property, an unbiased system of law and a provision of public services that provides a level playing field in which people can exchange and contract. It must also permit the entry of new businesses and allow people to choose their careers.

As manifestos get unveiled,  Kenyans need to scrutinize them on whether they answer the people’s needs, while building on Kenya’s Vision 2030. Kenya aspires to be a middle income economy, with the political pillars envisioning a democratic political system that is issue based, people centered, result oriented and accountable to the public.

Empirically, it is impossible to achieve inclusive economic prosperity without inclusive political institutions. That is why we must fix the politics and the economics simultaneously.

In the education sector, for example, Kenyan’s must embrace manifestos that promote entrepreneurial initiative, creativity and adequately prepare pupils and students for skilled work. Most professionals in the education sector agree that the recently launched Competency Based Curriculum is conscious of skills for future work. One need to find out if their candidate speaks to the competency based curriculum. If not, much of the education our children will receive in future, could end up being propaganda meant to shore up the legitimacy of the regime in power with fewer and limited books to read, let alone computers.

Does the future education espoused in your candidates manifesto embrace technology and innovation?

Evidence now exist to show that inclusive economic and political institutions foster economic activity, productivity growth, and economic prosperity. Secure private property rights are central, since only those with such rights will be willing to invest and increase productivity. A businessman who expects his output to be stolen through corrupt institutions, expropriated, or entirely taxed away will have little incentive to work, let alone any incentive to undertake investments and innovations. But such rights must exist for the majority of people in society according to Doran and Robinson in “Why Nations Fail.” The people’s manifesto must therefore speak very candidly to the investment atmosphere anticipated by the next government and whether it will promote a market economy, built on private property where successful entrepreneurs, both local and foreign, enjoy the fruits of their investments and efforts.

These will have ripple economic effects on the ordinary citizens at the bottom of the economic pyramid.

Inclusive economic and political institutions create inclusive markets, which not only give people freedom to pursue the vocations in life that best suit their talents, but also, provide a level playing field that gives them the opportunity to do so.

Those who have good ideas will find it easy to start businesses, workers will tend to go to activities where their productivity is greater and less efficient firms can be replaced by more efficient ones.

Setting up inclusive economic and political institutions is therefore much more than sloganeering and giving handouts to woo voters, it includes long term structural and systems thinking. Can you say this about your candidate’s manifesto?

If people’s manifesto that embrace inclusive institutions lead to prosperity, why are they shunned? Joseph Schumpeter, former Finance Minister of Germany-Austria, suggests that political leaders oppose such manifestos for fear of what he calls creative destruction.

This is because inclusive institutions replace the old system with the new, new sectors that embrace technology and guarantee higher returns to the people attract resources away from the old sectors where looting has been easier. This, as an example explains the low uptake of technology driven revenue collection at the national level and in the counties because the porous manual revenue collection systems are avenues for pilferage. The process of economic growth and the inclusive institutions upon which it is based create losers as well as winners in the political arena and in the economic marketplace.

What does the manifesto of your candidate say on embracing new structural systems that will empower the people in the long term?

On the opposite end of this manifesto debate is the extractive economic and political institutions which should be looked out for and shunned ahead of August 2022. Poor economic performances are attributable to manifestos that fail to create incentives for parents to educate their children and by political institutions that fail to induce the government to build, finance and support schools and the wishes of parents and children.

The price that nations whose institutions are extractive pay for lack of inclusive markets is high. They fail to mobilize their nascent talent.

If we fail to scrutinize these manifestos, we could end up with ruining many people with potential like Bill Gates and perhaps one or two Thomas Edison or Albert Einsteins who will work as poor, uneducated farmers. People being coerced to do what they do not wish to do, like pushing a wheelbarrow around, because they never had the opportunity to realize their vocation in life.

Keep vigil. Most importantly, ask yourself what the candidate’s history and record is with regard to respect for and execution of inclusive economic and political institutions.

The Writer is a Masters in Development Studies Graduate of The Catholic University of Eastern African. He is based in Siaya County.

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Kenya Elections 2022

We Want An Economy That Works For All, Musalia Mudavadi Says

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Kenya Elections 2022

UDA Party Aspirants Who Lost Nominations Threaten To Run As Independent Candidates

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Mombasa UDA team reached a consensus on Hassan Omar Hassan as its gubernatorial candidate, Khamisi Mwaguya as the Senate contender and Fatma Bakari Barayan as the Women Rep. contestant. The parliamentary slots will be filled by Mohamed Ali (Nyali), Mbarak Hamid (Kisauni), Karisa Nzai Mnyika (Jomvu), Isaac Malilah (Changamwe), Omar Shallo (Mvita) and Mohamed Mwahima (Likoni).

United Democratic Movement party (UDA) is facing a backlash in Mombasa County for conducting primaries that left contestants dissatisfied with the processes and outcome. The aggrieved aspirants are now appealing for the intervention of party leader Deputy President Dr William  Ruto to call for a repeat of the primaries.

There is a possible fallout in the UDA party,  Mombasa region, after yesterday’s concluded party primaries, with some threatening to ditch the party if their grievances are not addressed. The aspirants have raised questions on the authenticity of the party polls and are blaming UDA gubernatorial aspirant Hassan  Omar for conducting the primaries exercise in a favouritism manner.

According to Attan Mbarak Attan, Hassan Omar colluded with their opponents to short change them from fair nomination elections.

“First we were promised to use IEBC or party register during the nominations, but, it did not happen, secondly, my name was missing in the register. This was a game choreographed. I am decamping to vie for the seat as an independent candidate if action is not taken,” Said Ashuu Radhirish, an aspirant.

In a joint press conference,  the aspirants from the Mvita constituency said the nominations had wrangles and did not meet a threshold of a fair, credible and verifiable election.

Among the affected aspirants include; Ashuu Radhirish, Attan Mbarak Attan, Salim Omar Salim and Ms Bibiye Mahomoud.  They claimed their names were missing from their registered polling stations.  In some cases, those whose names appear in the register, do not match their identity number.

They said the whole nomination process was full of malpractices, bribes and favouritism.

On the other hand, aspirant Salim Omar Salim accused party coordinators of using the party as a cash cow by a wealthy mogul canvassing for his preferred aspirants to win the nominations. Another contestant Bibiye Mahamoud urged the party organisers to address the nominations statement and call for a repeat of the nomination.

“If the party is not conducting the nominations in a transparent manner, we’re going to vote against the UDA candidate in Majengo ward during August polls, stated Bibiye.

Among those who were issued a direct ticket by UDA during the August 9 election are former Mombasa senator Hassan Omar as their governor aspirant, Khamisi Mwaguya (senator) and Fatma Barayan (woman rep)

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Kenya Elections 2022

Governor Kananu Banks On Her Track Record To Get Elected

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Nairobi Governor Ann Kananu has told off her critics saying they should let their track records speak for them.

The Governor was speaking an interview with a local tv station.

During the interview Kananu was hosted alongside Kwale Deputy Governor Fatuma Achani, who wants to succeed her boss Salim Mvurya, and former Kenyan ambassador to China Sarah Serem, who is seeking the Uasin Gishu Governor seat.

Kananu responded to various questions from Nairobians and Kenyans at large saying her track record from when she was at the Kenya Airport Authority, to the Nairobi county government’s chief officer in the disaster management department, acting Governor, and now a Governor, is open and clean and defines who a leader is.

“Leadership is inborn. Those seeking elective positions should come out clean and show us what they have done for Nairobians and not brainwashing the youth and the elderly with untold stories. Leadership is about integrity,” she said.

Answering a question from 50-year-old Adhiambo Auma, commonly known as Mama Msafii, who asked about the markets and fire stations, the Nairobi Governor told said the issue has been politicized but services are being rendered.

“We will soon launch those facilities and many more are coming up. Let’s not politicize projects that are meant to benefit mwananchi. I am where I am because of my great people of Nairobi,” Kananu said.

As she seeks to retain her seat on a Jubilee Party ticket, the Governor elaborated many projects she has implemented including the disbursement of bursary worth Sh590 million to needy students.

Nairobi City County, under her leadership, is set to construct state-of-the-art safe houses for Sexual Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) survivors in Nairobi at Mji wa Huruma.

Kananu said she is yet to name her running mate but intends to do so soon.

She will launch her manifesto which includes equipping all hospitals, building fire stations in all the 17 sub-counties, increasing revenue collection to guarantee uninterrupted services for Nairobi residents, rehabilitating and improving the road network, improving staff welfare at City Hall, among others.

“I thank the good leadership from NMS, executive, staff and assembly because it’s our good working relationship has culminated in quality services being provided,” said Kananu.

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