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February 21, 2019

NASA manifesto indicts Joho and Kidero

Nairobi governor Evans Kidero and his Mombasa counterpart Hassan Joho during a retreat at Serena Mombasa on 1, July 2013. /Elkana Jacob
Nairobi governor Evans Kidero and his Mombasa counterpart Hassan Joho during a retreat at Serena Mombasa on 1, July 2013. /Elkana Jacob

First let me ask a question: What was NASA up to on Tuesday night last week?

Really, for a party that had the advantage of having watched their competitor present a very well-organised, superbly choreographed and professionally put together manifesto launch just 24 hours earlier, why would NASA punish us with such a shoddy manifesto launch?

It was so bad even I, who normally has no sympathy for them, had moments when I could not help but sympathise with them! It was painful to watch such a badly lit, terribly delivered, really bad presentation by people with so many years in politics.

Then there was the absolutely bad chemistry between the principals that was apparent through the screen. The five gentlemen are clearly quite disconnected. Meanwhile, I kept thinking to myself; ‘…and there are people who actually want us to entrust our country to these folks!’ God forgive them.

Then I thought let me be fair and look through this document. What I found were internal self-contradictions that were quite amusing.

For example, though NASA tries to present itself as the custodian of the devolution dream, their manifesto was very light on how a NASA-led national government would interact with the devolved system of governance to deliver national, shared and devolved functions.

However, what the manifesto did achieve was surprising. It passed a very damning verdict on the leadership of the Nairobi and Mombasa counties.

First, the manifesto slammed the Mombasa and Nairobi county governments for having been unable to deal with urbanisation and attendant issues in order to develop livable cities.

For example, the manifesto pointed out that Nairobi is now regularly ranked amongst the five worst cities in the world, with Mombasa close behind.

The manifesto further stated that buildings in the capital city are collapsing left, right and centre, and maiming or killing innocent Kenyans every day. This is a terrible indictment of ODM’s very own Kidero and Joho – Governor 047 and Governor 001, respectively.

Second, an abridged version of NASA’s manifesto stated that Kenya must be uncompromising in waste management. But the reality is that the county government of Mombasa has no waste management policy, which means that the coastal town, formerly an icon of the coastal spirit and the centre of the tourism sector, is groaning under the weight of randomly disposed waste.

Mombasa now floods regularly whenever there are heavy rains because of the clogging up of the drainage system due to poor planning and waste collection. Nairobi too.

Third, the NASA manifesto stated that the Nairobi River could contribute to the city’s water needs if it was not so polluted. The irony of that statement is beyond belief. Why does Kidero not act on pollution if his party knows that a clean Nairobi River would alleviate the water shortage problem in the capital!

But what I find most amusing is not that NASA is attacking their own top two governors in their own manifesto. What I find especially hilarious is that they have proposed the same governors who have run these counties so badly (according to them), as their preferred candidates to run the two counties for another term. In fact, each governor even got their nomination unopposed from ODM!

If NASA has no problem with their governors getting a second term to fix our two main cities, despite the alliance’s own indictment of their performance, why do they have a problem with Jubilee getting another term to fix what they think Jubilee has not done right?





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