As an avid supporter of Raila for president, I often find myself defending him against lies, distortions and innuendo from his opponents, enemies and distractors.
I cannot recall anytime when any of these opponents, enemies and distractors have actually addressed any of the substantive rebuttals I present by way of responding their lies, distortions and innuendo but it’s easy to see why:
If the question is who among those running other than Raila has substantive issues or record they are running on, the answer is none and thus the reason they all prefer to employ deceitful tactics other distractions intended to camouflage the fact they have neither issues nor a record to run on.
Correction: They have a record but they would rather run away from it than with it in seeking the presidency.
In fact, they have thus far done a good job of hiding or running away from their records but come 2012, the record itself will catch-up with them.
Raila, on the other hand, has good record to run on and his stand on most, if not all of the issues facing our nation, is right on.
He also has either addressed these issues as MP, Minister or PM; is in the process of doing so, or he’ll certainly address them as president, if elected.
In Who Is Raila Amolo Part I, I have started an examination of Raila as an individual.
In this series, I examine Raila’s stand on issues and his record.
I have said repeatedly and let me repeat yet again that what I do is to share what I know about the man and why I support him.
I do not purport to speak for Raila or ODM and neither should anything I say be seen or interpreted that way.
My views are strictly my views unless I indicate otherwise as in when reporting on what he says at any public meeting I am present or reporting from other sources.
Having said that, I can tell you the man has yet to even officially start campaigning when the first order of business for him and his party as campaign is to set forth his party’s manifesto.
We know he has one from 2007 which one can assume would be revised to reflect changed circumstances since.
Going by Raila’s public statements and other public information, however, one can easily know where Raila stands on any number of issues and his record as a leader going back to the days of his agitation for reform that earned him unprecedented detention and torture, his life spared only for reasons we can speculate.
In this Part I, I address Raila’s stand on specific areas a netter asked me if I could tell him, and by extension, other readers where Raila stands on these issues and these are: Education, Energy, National Security and Food Security.
I briefly address each of these issues as a full-blown, complete analysis would be outside the scope of this blog but let’s say this is kionjo tu as more is sure to follow.
Education: The PM believes our education standards needs to be improved beyond what we have now and the key to this, he believes, is the government’s willingness and readiness to invest more in education and manpower development.
This is what he believes and is at the core of the campaign platform he run on and was elected but not sworn as president in 2007.
Reaffirming this commitment recently, the PM said the following:”You cannot develop as a nation, if you do not invest in manpower development and that starts at nursery school through primary, secondary, to colleges and universities,” adding, “countries that have developed faster are those countries that have invested very heavily in manpower and the teaching profession [provides] that foundation.”
There maybe someone out there running for president with a better commitment to education, but you will agree, will you not, this understanding and commitment from the PM if implemented would see our country transformed both in education standards but in the corresponding economic development owing to the revamped and better developed manpower, especially given the PM’s other commitment is for Kenya to tap into the vastly growing business process outsourcing (BPO) of which the Malili Technopolis project is a part of and one the PM has been instrumental in seeing its development, among his many other accomplishments.
Energy: Consistent with his commitment to conserving the environment, Raila was instrumental in, and actually had the National Task Force on Accelerated Development of Green Energy (NTFG) established and housed in his office, where it’s alive and making good progress.
The PM established the task force to assist in installation of additional 2000 megawatt (MW) of green power in the country, which include six geothermal projects with capacity of 490 MW and seven wind power projects with expected capacity of 810 MW.
The measure also includes setting up number of power cogeneration projects with expected capacity of 600 MW.
Other measures underway promoting renewable energy in the country at the PM’s direction and supervision, include incentives to attract investment in solar energy, windmills, biomass.
Others include free distribution of one million energy efficient light bulbs in exchange for ordinary bulbs. The free distribution of energy-saving bulbs is expected to save 49 MW of power, which is is a significant amount, given the power shortage we have in the country.
Addressing an Energy Plus Partnership Conference recently held in Oslo, Norway, the PM called on developed countries and international development agencies to team up with the government of Kenya and help phase kerosene out of the country and give citizens in rural areas and urban slums access to cleaner and healthier energy and power.
The PM said Kerosene Free Kenya he is spearheading efforts to implement aims at making solar lanterns and solar panels, green charcoal and improved cooking stoves available to 10 million households the next 2 years.
The PM also appealed to institutions financing investment in energy to review conditions attached to the loans to enable more players to access the funds and participate in research and provision of clean energy to the poor.
In sum, when it comes to energy policy and issues, none of the other presidential contenders come even close to comparing to the Raila in his experience, expertise and leadership on this critical area of our economy.
National Security: Although the president is hogging this important portfolio, the PM has been very supportive of the president’s efforts to secure our borders and the co-leaders get an A in their efforts to root out Al-Shabaab insurgents in Somalia. We should all support their efforts for we cannot be divided in any way when it comes to matters of national security.
Anyone who tries to bring politics into our national security would only regret the swiftness with which the people would reject such a move so I would not worry too much about our national security unless we elect a madman as our next president, which I seriously doubt.
However, relationships with our neighbors, regional and international leaders do matter and add to our national security and on this measure, no one among those vying for president is better known and liked by all of these leaders than Raila.
I am fully aware that some wannabes have made staged trips to neighboring countries but the images coming from those visits show how boyish they are as compared to Raila who, on the other hand, comes across as the statesman he is when being received by regional and world leaders who, as is well known, like and even admire his leadership style.
Not all of you may understand this but they do and that’s all that matters.
Food Security: The PM understands with a country such as ours, no one should go hungry and has been leading in efforts to address the problem of food security, including his recent successful hosting of a Summit on Food Security for the Horn of Africa comprised of all the leaders from the Horn to address the food crisis in the region and at the end of that meeting, the leaders from these countries, namely Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somali, Eritrea, Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Rwanda and Burundi, signed what is now known as the Nairobi Declaration, a document that puts forth solutions for resolving the food crisis in the region.
Those solutions are being pursued as you are reading this and therefore on that measure, the PM gets an A on his efforts on this issue while none of his rivals for the presidency can get even an F for they have done nothing about the problem, except Ruto who may be given a B- from is archived records as minister for agriculture.
Tackling the National Debt and Deficit: The president has not only hogged the critical ministries and institutions that control government spending, he and his team have made sure the PM is completely incapacitated to reign in government spending and corruption–and especially corruption, which is the #1 reason we have the staggering and crippling debt and deficits.
Yet, despite these great odds against him, the PM has managed to at least prevent even more uncontrolled spending and corruption and everyone agrees there is no one out there running for president better placed to fight corruption than Raila himself.
These, then, are some of the PM’s positions and accomplishments in these areas but there are many others to follow in this series and I am sure the PM himself and his campaign will remind or inform the country, as the case maybe, when he rolls up his sleeves and starts his second successful campaign for the presidency.
This time Raila must not only be elected as he was last time, but he should also be elected with a clear mandate for he is hands down the best candidate among those running for president not just in experience and leadership, but also on where he stands on most, if not all of these issues which clearly is in line with where the country is or must be in order to achieve the peace, unity and prosperity we must have after all these years of abuse and neglect.
Peace, Unity and Progress