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Nasa manifesto: Raila’s five-year plan for Kenya

Nasa has grouped its priorities under five main pledges it plans to work on if it forms the next government.

The alliance, under presidential candidate Raila Odinga describes itself as “the coalition of the Constitution” in its manifesto launched Tuesday evening.

“Nasa coalition exists to pursue five objectives namely: to promote national unity; to uphold, guard and respect the dignity of all individuals and communities; to return the country to the path of constitutional and democratic development; end the culture of impunity; and restore sanity in the management of the economy and public affairs of our nation,” the alliance says in the 48-page document, launched at the Ngong Racecourse.

It says its manifesto is based on the Constitution, whose gains it accused Jubilee of eroding in the past four years.

NOTABLE PLEDGES

Notable pledges include: to resolve all the perennial labour disputes within 100 days, change the Constitution to have ministers selected from among MPs, increase pay for civil servants, enact a law through which to control rents, build a bridge over the Likoni channel and introduce a commuter rail for Coast and Nairobi.

It also plans to create a Universal Health Fund that it says will change the way healthcare is paid for by charging patients a small fee and having hospitals bill the government for the rest.

Unlike the Jubilee Party, whose manifesto set specific targets in most areas, Nasa is more focused on changing the systems to get results.

“The Nasa government will work to build a stronger nation committed to nurturing and protecting the well-being of the individual, the family, communities and the nation in accordance with the Constitution,” says the document.

The alliance plans to introduce civic education under a plan to revive the Kenya National Integrated Civic Education Programme established under the coalition government.

CHANGE THE CONSTITUTION

It also promises to change the Constitution, “consolidate and refine” it to ensure gender parity.

Among the alliance’s first tasks would be to hold a conference on relations between the national and county governments over the next five years.

“The conference will come up with a charter on cooperative governance, setting out tenets to be followed in the next five years.”

The coalition says it will change the way senators are elected, pointing out that one of the reasons the upper House and governors are always at loggerheads is because senators are elected directly and therefore bear no link to their home governments.

For proponents of devolution, the good news is that the coalition promises to fully implement the Constitution and have all devolved functions funded accordingly.

To do this, the coalition says, institutions whose roles cut across the national and county governments such as road authorities, water boards and regional development authorities would be reorganised.

COLONIAL HANGOVER

Under “Transforming Governance,” the idea is to change the public service and get rid of what the coalition refers to as colonial hangover to have all public employees work as servants of the people.

The coalition says it will come up with the Nasa Code of Conduct to ensure all elected or appointed officials under the coalition do not engage in corruption.

All of them would be blocked from doing business with the government directly or indirectly to avoid conflict of interest. They would also be required to disclose their financial interests upon appointment and take a moral and political responsibility for misconduct.

“There will be no sacred cows. The Nasa coalition President will never get away with passing the buck to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission or the Judiciary,” the manifesto says.

On security, Nasa pledged to come up with a consultative process to address peace and security challenges that have been perennial in the northern, parts of coast and Rift Valley regions.

PEACE BUILDING

“The regional plans will include genuine peace-building amongst all communities and developing investment interventions designed to spur inclusive economic growth, creation of employment and enhance livelihoods,” the coalition says, adding that it would build the necessary infrastructure to ease travel and communication and remove the sense of remoteness and alienation felt by people on arid and semi arid areas.

“These regional plans will be undertaken in consultation and coordination with neighbouring countries and communities’ in South Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia and Uganda,” it says.

On agriculture, the coalition pledges to develop a national crop and livestock insurance system, start warehouse receipting to allow grain farmers use stocks as collateral for loans and promote the development of markets.

The Agricultural Finance Corporation and its counterpart the Agricultural Development Corporation would also be changed to handle farmers better.