Dubbed #Inawezekana Agenda, the Ten Point Azimio manifesto is a rallying call for the nation’s rebirth through an economic revolution, which Hon. Odinga has characterised as the third and the last revolution.
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa: Kenya’s Azimio la Umoja presidential candidate, the Rt Hon. Raila Amolo Odinga fondly referred to as Baba the 5th, delivered his manifesto on Monday evening of the 6th of June 2022, promising a new social contract between his keenly awaited administration and the people of Kenya.
Dubbed #Inawezekana Agenda, the Ten Point Azimio manifesto is a rallying call for the nation’s rebirth through an economic revolution, which Hon. Odinga has characterised as the third and the last revolution. If my grandfather was alive today, he would say in my Luo language, Nyando odok e wang’e, meaning River Nyando is back on its original course.
Azimio’s rallying call on Kenyans of all walks of life to walk together to realise shared management and prosperity of our resources rekindles Kenyans’ dream of independence in 1963 when the nation’s founding leaders imagined a Kenya free from hunger, poverty, ignorance and treatable diseases.
These dreams were predominantly deferred when greed, political back-stubbing and self-aggrandisement took centre stage at the expense of the envisaged collective effort to drive meaningful development for the benefit of all.
Fifty-eight years later, the hopes and aspirations of our forefathers is being awakened by none other than Raila Odinga. His father and first vice president the late Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, the late first president the late Jomo Kenyatta, and former cabinet minister Katana Ngala, among others, were part of the original vision of a united republic.
Watching Baba present his Inawezekana agenda, I felt like I was back in the country, even though I’m writing this article tucked next to a heater, far away in the world’s Southern Hemisphere.
The event conjured memories of the prevailing mood in 2002 when Kenyans were wildly excited about the prospects of ushering in a new administration that they had hoped would transform their lives. But just like at independence, when the dream of transforming the country was short-lived, Baba’s determination to make Kenya great was again dashed when self-seekers hijacked third president Mwai Kibaki’s National Rainbow Coalition (NARC).
Baba’s Inawezekana manifesto tackles critical areas of economic revolution from manufacturing, infrastructure, health, agriculture, welfare, youth fighting corruption and prudent management of resources. Indeed, solid economic growth depends on a functioning infrastructure which enables smooth transportation and utilisation of manufactured products, including agricultural proceeds.
The manifesto outlines a comprehensive medium-term plan for implementing the policies, strategies and administrative actions, which positions Kenyan citizens in the country and diaspora at the centre of planning and execution.
Within one hundred days of his administration, Baba promised to develop a blueprint to lower the cost of living by focusing on economic revolution, social transformation and good governance. If implemented prudently, the momentum built by such steps will create goodwill among the citizens and encourage further cooperation and achievements of the envisioned transformational dream.
It is no secret that Azimio’s administration is inheriting a bankrupt government. Their manifesto thus provides a raft of promises which seek to provide the much-needed hope to the majority of the citizens at a time when many are experiencing the worst economic meltdown caused by a manifest of issues including mismanagement of resources, rampant corruption, substantial international debts, the negative impact of climate change and the effects of Covid-19 pandemic.
The current situation is similar to 2002 when the Mwai Kibaki’s NARC came into power and dethroned the autocratic Moi regime, which had bankrupted the economy. At the time, Kenyans were the most optimistic globally, but their dreams were again short-lived when elements of retrogressive forces hijacked the entire process rendering the late President Kibaki a lame duck.
Though the late president Kibaki began on a good footing within the first few months of his administration, the momentum and goodwill speedily disappeared when the government changed their priority and therefore reneged on its campaign promises to Kenyans.
Unlike in 1963 and 2002, the current situation is different because this time around, Baba is not only in the driver’s seat as the president’s pick, but his choice of Narc Kenya leader Hon. Martha Karua as his running mate, signals a formidable strategy to make reform, gender and economic recovery, a campaign agenda and a reality.
This is primarily because Hon. Odinga and Hon. Karua shares a history in the trenches fighting for those three main issues on behalf of Kenyans. Besides, the two leaders, including former vice president Kalonzo Musyoka, as the Prime Minister-designate, has the necessary experience, having worked in various capacities in government.
Kenyans, thus, have a legitimate hope that this manifesto will be a wild wish from some ideologues and that the three leaders will lead in the proper and complete implementation of the economic reform agenda to take Kenya from its current status into a middle-income economy.
Clifford Derrick is an Investigative journalist and Documentary Film maker based in Johannesburg South Africa.