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January 23, 2019

2022 politics distract from Uhuru's Big Four agenda

President Uhuru Kenyatta. /FILE
President Uhuru Kenyatta. /FILE

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s second and final term as head of state has a sharp focus; create jobs; achieve universal healthcare; ensure food security; and establish adequate housing for all. This is summarised in the ‘Big Four’ agenda the President intends to make his legacy project.

Under jobs the President has been specific; 1.3 million jobs by 2022. Under universal healthcare he wants to achieve 100 per cent health coverage for every Kenyan. He is also very interested in ensuring every single family has food on the table, all the time. Finally he wants to have adequate housing for all.

The President has also been adamant. The time for politics is over. This is a point he emphasises across the country. He has been very firm. He has four years left to work for Kenyans. He has four years left to deliver and secure a legacy of his term in office. He is committed to achieving this objective and will brook no interference. This is because it is not about him. It is about leaving Kenya a better place than he found it.

This does not need emphasis. I am yet to meet a single person, even from the usually abrasive opposition, who does not agree that the Big Four will make Kenya a better place. This is why Uhuru wants us to stop politics. Politics is distracting us from the Big Four agenda.

To achieve the Big Four requires a united and cohesive state. This is what many seem not to have understood. Sadly, some of those not getting this point are from my own party Jubilee. They think there is a ‘safe’ politics that’s outside the President’s express request that we stop politics and focus on development. Let me help them along. We cannot campaign for anyone now, period! We cannot discuss who we will vote for in 2022, now. We cannot afford the division of attention within, or the attacks from the opposition without. We must focus purely on delivering the Big Four.

Our objective as Jubilee (and as a nation) must therefore be about what we will achieve now; not what we will achieve in the 2022 election. In fact, if we can ensure Uhuru succeeds during this second and final term we will determine how the 2022 election will look like. This is why I am personally very upset with my colleagues who go around discussing how we will elect the Deputy President to take over in 2022.

They are missing the point. The 2022 election of William Ruto can only be a culmination of a job well done between now and then. If we do not do a good job between now and 2022, it does not matter how many of our senior politicians assure the DP of their support; Kenyans will just say no!

Let me re-emphasise. Those going around promising votes to the DP now are hurting both the DP and the President, now. Politicking about who we will vote for in 2022 today is forcing Kenyans to make political choices for and against that choice, now. It is completely unnecessary.

It also adversely affects the ability of the President to unite Kenyans around his Big Four Agenda now, divides the commitment of the public service to deliver what they should (they all support someone), and makes it look like the President’s legacy is a political campaign meant to benefit some, at the expense of others politically.

2022 must wait for 2022. Right now we have a President and a Deputy President; not for 2022; but for 2017-2022. They have an agenda for now, not then. Let us put in the thoughts, resource input, work ethic and service discipline required to do today’s work. This is how to honour President Kenyatta, as he wraps up his tour of duty.

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