President Uhuru Kenyatta has called on leaders to stop politicking and instead deliver on the promises they made to Kenyans through their manifestos during the last election.
The President observed that ordinary Kenyans are not interested in 2022 politics, instead they are more concerned about the steps the leaders are taking to improve their wellbeing.
“This is not the time to be talking about the 2022 General Election. Ordinary Kenyans don’t care about that,” President Kenyatta said.
“Kenyans want to know what we are doing for them today, tomorrow, next week and next month to ensure they can put a plate of food on the table; that they can access affordable healthcare; and that they afford to have a decent roof over their heads. That, at the end of the day, is what Kenyans want. Not politics, ” the Head of State added.
President Kenyatta spoke Friday when he addressed the 7th Annual Conference of Constitutional Commissions & Independent Offices at the Meru National Polytechnic.
President Kenyatta said the programmes being implemented by his Government are the product of extensive public participation, through which the people directly engaged him, making clear what they wanted from their government.
“Last year, I was fortunate to directly engage with ordinary men and women, youth, persons living with disabilities and members of minority groups, right across the country. I heard their concerns, their expectations, and their praise and criticism of my first term,” said President Kenyatta.
He pointed out that it is through the humbling and informative experiences that he came up with the vision of the Big 4 development agenda, which covers affordable and decent housing, affordable healthcare for all, food security, and employment creation through manufacturing.
“My vision for Kenya is the product of this extensive process of public participation. Indeed, properly speaking, it is not mine but rather the vision of millions of Kenyans. Public participation – I have commended it to you more than once – really does work,” the President said.
The Head of State called on constitutional commissions to deliver on their mandate, adding that there have been cases where some have slackened in the execution of their responsibilities by claiming independence as a defence against scrutiny.
“Security of tenure has sometimes been used as a shield against accountability and the uniform application of the law; and autonomy and independence have occasionally been mistaken for detachment from the rest of Government,” President Kenyatta observed.
The President called on constitutional commissions to be open to scrutiny and to fully embrace public participation.
“Consulting Kenyans is not a favour or an act of grace; it is as much a basic constitutional requirement as it is a necessity for effective governance,” he said.
While calling on Kenyans to engage more with government agencies in demand of better services, President Kenyatta called on the commissions, all anchored in Chapter 15 of the Constitution, to maintain the highest standards of professionalism and meritocracy when serving the public.
“I wish to encourage all Kenyans to take advantage of the public participation avenues that are available, engage with your Government; and in a civilized manner, demand for better service delivery by all arms of Government and institutions. It is your right, ” the Head of State advised.
In his speech, Meru Governor Kiraitu Mirungi said he was opposed to the current call for a constitutional referendum by a section of the political class because the timing is not right.
Governor Murungi cautioned that if the current push for plebiscite is not halted then politicians risk derailing the realization of the country’s development agenda.
“I have been instrumental and at the centre of two referendums. I can assure you Mr. President unless referendum is crafted and managed well, it will bring chaos and bloodshed as witnessed in the 2007/2008 post election violence,” said Governor Murungi.
Attorney General Justice Paul Kihara Kariuki said his department is committed to helping the President achieve his dream of a corrupt free government.
“We must help the President in fighting and uprooting corruption. Under my watch nobody is above the law,” Justice Kihara declared.
On her part, the chairperson of the constitutional commissions and independent offices Dr. Lydiah Nzomo thanked President Kenyatta for his continued support to the commissions in order to fulfil their mandates.