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BIG FOUR AGENDA, WAR ON GRAFT

Uhuru’s legacy on track

Leaders and politicians tend to forget their audience and electorate once they get elected.

In Summary

• If you look at Uhuru’s speeches, he is focussed on uniting the country, slaying the dragon of corruption and achieving the Big Four agenda.

• To cement his commitment on the fight against corruption, the President broke tradition and instead of ending the celebrations after his speech, he invited the Central Bank Governor to launch the new generation bank notes.

 

Uhuru's legacy
Uhuru's legacy
Image: STAR ILLUSTRATED

A boy put his hand into a pitcher full of nuts. He grasped as many as he could possibly hold, but when he tried to pull out his hand, he was prevented from doing so by the neck of the pitcher.

Unwilling to lose his nuts, and still unable to withdraw his hand, he burst into tears and bitterly lamented his disappointment. A bystander said to him, “Be satisfied with half the quantity, and you will readily draw out your hand.”

The story cautions on trying too much at once which is something that President Uhuru Kenyatta outlines in a video that Kenyans on social media have taken half the clip to mock him.

The viral video shows the President driven speechless by a young lady who asks him what he believes Kenyans will always remember him for. In the cutoff part after he says “wow!”, the President outlines what his legacy would be.

“I hope many things but two things in particular. One that I will have left a united and cohesive society, and two, that we shall have won the war on corruption,” the President said.

And true, there are many things that we would wish to remember President Kenyatta with and I am sure he would love to achieve a lot. But focussing on specific areas increases his chances of success.

Leaders and politicians tend to forget their audience and electorate once they get elected.

Once in office, the politician is no longer concerned about his messaging of delivery on those promises. But we have seen it very different with Uhuru who used his very first Jamhuri Day after reelection on December 12, 2017 to launch the Big Four agenda.

And this agenda had clear targets attached to each of the four pillars. One is the creation of manufacturing jobs in leather, agro-processing, textile and the blue economy to better the lives and living standards of ordinary Kenyans.

The other is universal healthcare to ensure all Kenyans can access medical care so that they no longer have to choose between health and their daily needs. So that students may study without worry; so that the elderly do not necessarily have to be sickly.

The third one is the provision of 500,000 decent and affordable houses in four years, meaning that slums may soon be a thing of the past. Food security is the fourth pillar.

If you look at Uhuru’s speeches, including his response to the young lady who challenged him, and actions since Jamhuri Day, his legacy agenda is clear. He is focussed on uniting the country, slaying the dragon of corruption and achieving the Big Four.

In the last two weeks, the President delivered his legacy message quite clearly on two different occasions and two separate audiences. The message of hope and policy on one of the key pillars the Big Four at the UN Complex in Gigiri at the ongoing First Session of the UN-Habitat Assembly.

In the same week, he delivered the simple message to the young lady and the common man in the country emphasising that his legacy to fight corruption and unite the country are on track.

And he went ahead to prove so on Madaraka Day when he highlighted opposition leader Raila Odinga’s presence at the celebrations in Narok as their joint commitment to the handshake that has united the country after a divisive election.

To cement his commitment on the fight against corruption, the President broke tradition and instead of ending the celebrations after his speech, he invited the Central Bank Governor to launch the new generation bank notes. This move has sent many corrupt individuals holding onto old Sh1,000 notes into a frenzy on how to mainstream their illicit wealth.

In a masterstroke of that announcement, the President’s war on corruption was taken a notch higher. And with it, part of his legacy was understood in the most simplistic of manners.