• Politicians spare no corner of the country, armed with meticulously written manifestos and telling Kenyans how passionate they are about making a difference.
• Uhuru promised to create jobs, change the fortunes of the country but little is seen as his reign comes to an end.
Whenever campaign seasons come, politicians are always armed and ready with loads of promises on the things they want to do, and how they plan to change the lives of the electorate.
Politicians spare no corner of the country, armed with meticulously written manifestos and telling Kenyans how passionate they are about making a difference.
This, however, changes whenever these individuals get elected into office. You will barely see them as much as you did during campaigns, and very little of the loads of things they promised to accomplish, once elected.
Such antics have become a serial and a big problem to Kenyans to the extent of lacking basic resources that can better their lives.
Empty promises make a very big part of our politics and we see these very same politicians denying that made any such promises to us.
If evidence is provided of the time and place they made the promises, they will either find a way to twist it, or give excuses of why it was not possible.
When another election comes, the same promises are repeated.
We are currently in another campaign period and the usual promises are streaming in as politicians chest-thump and try to convince Kenyans why they are best placed to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta.
These leaders include Deputy President William Ruto, ODM leader Raila Odinga, former Vice president Kalonzo Musyoka, ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi and many more are expected to declare their bids.
All these people have come with promises of changing the economy and tides of this country.
For DP Ruto, he has been selling the bottom-up economic model insisting that the economic transformation of Kenya can only be done with the poor people at the bottom of the pyramid.
This he says will be able to create jobs for young people and women. His model is symbolised by the wheelbarrow.
Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga on the other hand promises to champion for rural economies, improve living standards and take care of the most vulnerable members of our society.
He says this is a promise he intends to keep once elected into office.
Raila has also been calling for unity of purpose through his Azimio la Umoja call insisting that this is the only way Kenya can achieve political stability which will in turn help in growing the economy.
All said and done, these are just promises like the ones given in previous elections.
President Uhuru Kenyatta was first elected in 2013 alongside Ruto as his deputy and went on to be re-elected in 2017, despite a contested election. He has been calling the shots for the past almost 10 years.
Now, his administration has been credited and commended for its successes and failures.
During his tenure, Uhuru’s government has invested heavily in infrastructure including roads, and the Standard Gauge Railway among others.
Failures have been registered with many people feeling like the economy has been badly managed during his time, which is one of the main reasons those seeking to succeed him are using it as campaign tools.
Uhuru promised to create jobs, change the fortunes of the country but little is seen as his reign comes to an end.
Kenyans also have expectations as we head to the polls next year and they would vote for whoever they deem will fulfil their promise.
This writer spoke to a section of Kenyans who opened up on their expectations and the things they would love to see prioritised by whoever will be elected president in the 2022 General Elections.
During the interactions, healthcare, jobs and a better economy featured greatly in the conversations.
Moses Ngige, a resident of Thika said he expects the next administration to lower taxes and find better ways to make every eligible Kenyan and companies be tax compliant.
He added that affordable healthcare for all should also be prioritised because Kenyans are suffering from huge medical bills, which should not be the case.
“Health should be taken back to the National government. It has been worse under the counties. There are no drugs in hospitals and services are poor,” he said.
“Empower agencies that fight corruption. Corruption is milking this country dry, we need to see chief corrupt officials being served with heavy punishments like a fine of triple the amount of what is in question and longer jail terms.”
Still, on healthcare, Kariri who lives and works in Nairobi says the cost of treatment for cancer patients and other chronic diseases should be prioritised.
“More should be done to reduce the cost of treatment for cancer patients, NHIF should incorporate such in their services and reduce on service charge among other ailments and more cancer centres be set up. More mental facilities should also be established in organisations.”
According to Fred Onyango, affordable healthcare should not even be up for discussion because Kenyans at the bottom and middle of the pyramid are struggling with many health-related issues.
He added that there are a lot of unanswered questions when it comes to job opportunities as well, adding that employers in Kenya have been taking advantage of employees, knowing that there are no better alternatives.
“Imagine earning less than Sh50,000 or even worse, Sh20,000 – 30,000, what can you do with that type of salary... We urgently need well-paying opportunities worth the current economy and a generation of genuine employers,” Onyango said.
These are just some of the things Kenyans want to be prioritised by whoever will be elected as the next president of the Republic of Kenya.
Other issues raised included; the cost of living, better quality education and faster delivery of services especially when it comes to the issuance of identity cards among others.
The fight against corruption also featured highly, during the interactions.
Edited by D Tarus