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Sunday, 16 September 2012

Verbatim: Mrs Ngilu's Basic Needs Revolution speech

 

Mrs Ngilu after launching he presidential campaign in Nairobi
Mrs Ngilu's Basic Needs 
Revolution Speech

Delivered at KICC  as she launched her Presidential bid

 

"Salutations

 NARC Party delegates, my honorable colleagues, distinguished guests, Dear Kenyans, ladies and gentlemen. It is with great humility and gratitude that I accept the Narc Party nomination to run for the presidency of the Republic of Kenya in the 2013 general elections. This is not only a great privilege to me, but a manifestation of the confidence the NARC Party Membership have in me and my leadership. 



 

 

 

 

 Reflections

Ladies and gentlemen, fifty years ago, Kenya attained her Independence and a new nation was born. The new Kenya  galvanized the great  hopes,  dreams and aspirations of her people.

Today we stand at the cross-roads of history - in between the past and the future; at a point in history when we need to take stock of our past and reflect on our achievements and failures. As we do that we need to ask ourselves some hard questions. I say hard questions.

 Hard Questions

A fervent supporter of the Basic Needs Revolution

Can we say that we are a nation that is proud of its achievements? Can we say that we live in a country in which we all enjoy decent lives?

•A decent life where a family is able to meet their basic needs?

A decent life where disease is not a signature of death but a life process that can be managed?

A decent life where our young people are not condemned to “beba beba”, kumi kumi or mob justice because we have failed to provide them with opportunities?

A decent life where a young person does not see education as worthless  engagement because it cannot guarantee him/her a future?

A decent life where women in Mandera, Samburu or Mwingi do not have to walk for many kilometers to fetch water and firewood?

  A decent life where a pastoralist in the Tana Delta does not have to fight with his agrarian neighbor over pasture?

  A decent life where a farmer in Trans Nzoia in Rift valley is confident that his hard labour to produce will be rewarded by being paid on time?

Why do these questions still worry us 50 years after independence? Note,  these are some of the questions that should be of concern to any leader. Instead we have seen a leadership that is concerned more with itself than the people they serve. A leadership that has its priorities upside down.

Mrs Ngilu addressing a rally in Kibwezi

 Current State

Today our country is facing enormous challenges.

The Household Expenditure and Utilization Survey 2007 indicates that about 10 million (24%) of Kenyans cannot access formal medical care when they get sick because they cannot afford. Most of them are on herbal treatment. As a consequence,  the country loses 24 million man/woman days of productive labour the equivalent of  Ksh. 10 billion.

Our healthcare is in dire need of overhaul. We have only 1 doctor for every 6000 patients. The irony is that while our patients die in hospital for lack of medical personnel to attend to them, our well trained health workers are migrating to other countries in search of greener pastures. While the poor suffer, the policy makers and the elite who are well cushioned through insurance covers seek healthcare services abroad.

Similarly, our education system is crying for attention. The quality of education we are offering to our children is not well aligned both to our national needs and the market economy. 

Security is a major concern to most Kenyans and more so to investors. We have failed to create opportunities for the Kenyan youth to exploit their potential yet we condemn them when they result to crime and other anti social activities such as drug abuse. We are investing more in guns and recruitment of  police officers because we are fearful of our youth. 

Dear Kenyans, some of the reasons that we have been unable to address unemployment and biting poverty is as a result of our appetite for imported goods and services. We make ourselves poorer through importing products, goods and services that we can and should be produce locally. The 2012 Economic Survey report shows that in 2011, Kenya  imported goods worth Ksh 1.3 trillion against exports worth Ksh 482 billion. The difference is a glaring deficit of Ksh 831 billion leading to unwarranted loss of our hard earned foreign exchange. This is equivalent to exporting over 3 million middle income jobs a year.

We import sugar from Brazil, a country over 10,000 kilometers away, yet this sugar costs the same as our local sugar from Mumias, Nzoia, Sony-Awendo which are 500 kilometers from Nairobi? Who is making the money in these deals at the expense of the farmers and poor citizens especially women? As a country we pursue economic policies that enrich farmers in Brazil, manufacturers in China, Carpenters in Malaysia, Engineers in India and consequently impoverish our own farmers, manufacturers and carpenters?

One may ask what is it that we import? Is it machinery to support our manufacturing, or equipment to support our farmers? Is it technology to improve efficiency and increase levels of production? No, it is food and agricultural produce that we can produce and should grow locally. For instance, we spent Ksh 11.4 billion to import maize, Ksh. 12.5 billion to import rice, Ksh. 11 billion to import sugar, Ksh 11.8 billion to import textiles and second hand clothing, Ksh 59 billion to import animal and vegetable oils such as milk, cheese and ghee. All totaling to Ksh 140.6 billion.

          What has happened to our rice farms in Ahero, Mwea and Kano?

          What has happened to our maize farms in Kitale, Eldoret and Bura?

          What has happened to our sugar belts in Mumias, Nzoia, Muhoroni, Awendo, Ramisi and Tana Delta?

          What happened to the cotton fields in Ukambani, Busia, Siaya and Homa bay?

          Why are we importing animal and vegetable oils when we have livestock and vegetable farms across the country? And not buying our local products from KMC, KCC, Molo and Brookside.

          How would we create any employment if we excessively import goods and products that we can produce or manufacture locally?

Dear Kenyans, How did we get  ourselves into this difficult and embarrassing situation?

The answer, dear Kenyans is in leadership. We have leadership that is focused more on physical illustrations of growth and flamboyant plans than delivery.

          A leadership that watches the number of children out of school and those on the streets grow by the day,

          A leadership where women die while giving birth and where for every 1000 births, 75 of these children die before they celebrate their fifth birthday due  lack of medicare;

          A leadership that fails our youths by not creating opportunities for them to exploit their potential but is quick to condemn them enmass. 

          A leadership who would rather rejoice in women dancing for them and giving them handouts than business contracts.

This is the leadership we have had for the last 50 years! A leadership that has not been people-centred. A leadership that has not been visionary and transformative.

Kenyans we have been shortchanged!

Today, we as a country are at crossroads and the choices we make must be real and decisive. Albert Einstein once said, ‘The definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result”. Kenyans the choices are clear. We can choose another fifty years of doing the same thing and hoping for different results or we can begin a new journey with a difference. A journey that accelerates the  realization of our dreams and aspirations. A journey that would lead us to the Kenyan promise of a just, fair and equitable society.

I choose the new journey and that is why I have accepted my party’s nomination to run for the presidency.

In accepting this onerous responsibility I understand what is required of me. As a public servant with over 20 years experience I understand the challenges that Kenyans are grappling with.  I have served my country with diligience, focus and clear sense of purpose. Whenever I have faced challenges I have overcome them and grown stronger. But this election is not about me. It is about all of us Kenyans charting a new course. It is about all of us changing our ways of doing things.

It is about a basic needs revolution!

          A revolution that will put food and water on every Kenyan table.

          A revolution that will ensure that every child in Kenya will get proper quality education.

          A revolution that will create wealth.

          A revolution that will ensure that every Kenyan gets affordable quality healthcare.

          A revolution that will ensure that will empower the Kenyan women to take their rightful place in developing this country.

 

The issues of food and water, healthcare, education, women empowerment and wealth creation will no longer be any other business (AOB) items on the agenda. They are the Agenda.

The five doors that you walked through are symbolic of my promises to you in the five years that I seek to serve. 

I commit to deliver 5 promises in 5 years namely;

          I commit to make food and water accessible and affordable to all Kenyans.

          I commit to ensure that all Kenyans get quality and affordable healthcare.

          I promise that Kenyan children and youth will get affordable, quality and relevant education that would make them competitive players in the world economy.

          I will ensure that women are empowered to play their rightful role in the development of this nation.

          But more importantly I will ensure that every Kenyan is engaged in meaningful work and can afford a decent life. 

If you honor to elect me as your President in the next general election this is how I propose to deliver on these 5 promises.

Wealth Creation

I will create wealth through intervening in 5 key areas of our economy namely agriculture, manufacturing and industry, tourism, renewable energy, sports and entertainment. These are the sectors that can offer majority of our citizen’s job opportunities and will be the pivot to jumpstart this ecomony.  I will utilize the hands, brains and full potential of every Kenyan to create wealth.

I will revolutionize the small holder agriculture by supporting them through subsidies, credit facilities for farm inputs, small machines and equipment. It is unacceptable that 50 years after independence our farmers are still tilling land with hoes and oxen driven ploughs. I will revive agricultural extension services. I will link research to production through increasing the support to our agricultural institutions. I will aggressively identify and negotiate for markets for our farm produce in various strategic countries.

I will support the commercial agriculture through subsidizing on key inputs through low interest credit facilities. I will streamline the post-harvest handling processes by investing in modern equipment for harvesting, grain drying, processing and storage. I will develop more storage infrastructure in the famine prone areas to ensure that food is closer to the people. I will reintegrate research into the agricultural process and ensure that we produce crops and produce that is both relevant and commercially viable across the different markets.

Our strategy will be one of BRAIN FED agriculture and not just rain fed agriculture. This strategy will assure Kenya of food security where food will be accessible and affordable. We will also make agriculture commercially viable even for the small holder farmer. 

To ensure that our manufacturers enjoy being here, we will undertake key strategic measures that will enable manufacturers produce more, sell more and therefore employ more. My government will review taxes to make them responsive to conducting business and manufacturing. I will enforce the law against counterfeits and build capacity of Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) to deliver its mandate. I will develop the energy infrastructure to make it affordable and stable for manufacturing. I will make Kilindini port a reliable and efficient gateway of our exports and imports.

However to create more jobs and wealth across the country, I propose to robustly initiate and support the cottage industries. Upon taking office I will direct that all public sector offices procure only locally manufactured furniture.  This will create jobs to carpenters and iron mongers on Ngong road, Gikomba, Muthurwa, Nairobi west and in all the counties so that they can more money from their work. My government will turn their workshops into modern cottage industries with proper amenities and equipment. This will be done by setting aside funds for their growth in all counties in every annual annual budget. My key role as President will be to look for markets for Kenyan goods across the world.

I will re-engineer Tourism by setting aside funds for each county to invest in tourist products that are unique to these counties. I will identify and support new tourism products as we add value to the traditional ones. My government will work with the private sector to increase hospitality facilities and to brand our country as a destination of choice.

If elected, I will invest heavily in developing renewable energy. I will initiate a program where all public schools and hospitals will run on green energy. The installation and management of these will be put in the hands of women and youth entrepreneurs.

Dear Kenyans, our country is renowned for its sports prowess especially in athletics. Other sports are lagging behind and yet these have great potential for wealth creation. To ensure that we tap into this rich resource we will set up the National Lottery within the first year of my government to support sports, arts, music and theatre industries. We will encourage, through tax holidays the development and management of modern sports facilities, in areas like Iten and Mombasa.

Food and Water

I will ensure that the prices of basic commodities like maize, rice and sugar are affordable across the country through a deliberate program that will reduce ineffiencies like long drying time and delayed delivery to stores, increase storage and enhanced access to markets through fast delivery.  We will reduce reliance on imported food stuffs.

We will follow through our agricultural plan to ensure long term food security and stable food prices into the future.

Dear Kenyans, according to a World Bank report 2010, we spend over Ksh 26 billion to treat preventable diseases because 16.4 million Kenyans do not have access to safe clean drinking water. Our people are dying of cholera, diahorrea and other water borne diseases because we have not invested adequately in water harvesting and storage. I will reverse this. We will put this money to better use.

Meanwhile, I will continue to distribute water to all Kenyans through the various interventions that I have started while serving you as the Minister of Water and Irrigation. We will construct more dams to store water for irrigation and domestic use. My government will increase the acreage under irrigation.

Education

On education, my government will set aside money to support the employment of at least 5000 teachers each year to deal with the teaching shortfall in our schools. I will re-engineer our education system by ensuring that all primary schools are ICT compliant through a program called “1 child 1 laptop”. I will develop infrastructure through a program “primary to secondary” where we will build a secondary school for each 2 primary schools. We will support each county to develop their technical institutions by providing them with annual grants. I will make our public universities competitive by substantively increasing funding to research and development.

Healthcare

Dear Kenyans, at current estimates provided by National Health Insurance Fund, we can provide you with healthcare at Ksh 2850 per year as quoted by various well known health providers. This is equivalent to healthcare at Ksh8 per day! This translates to a health budget of Ksh 114 billion per annum. The current health budget is Ksh 80 billion.

Therefore upon taking office I will begin the implementation of this Scheme to ensure that all Kenyans can access quality healthcare. This we will do by incrementally allocating more resources to the current health budget. This will include reproductive health care services for women. No Kenyan woman should die giving birth for lack of professional healthcare services. I will continue to improve the healthcare infrastructure. In order to achieve this we will absorp  all those trained health professionals who are currently unemployed to deal with the deficit.

Dear Kenyans, trust me to deliver on healthcare. I have the knowledge of the sector, the passion and experience.

Women Empowerment

Women of Kenya, the year of Jubilee is here! We are destined for plenty if we harness our resources and potential.

On women empowerment I will ensure that women access government business and large contracts in the infrastructure sector i.e. roads, energy, water and public works. My government will ensure that the women ‘Chamas’ or ‘Myethias’, Mothers’Unions, Women’s Guilds, Catholic Women Associations, Ushirika wa Akina Mama and other women groups use their financial and organizational structures and capacities to access these large  business contracts. My government will support you through guarantees and credit which can be paid back as your businesses receive payments from these contracts.  I can confidently say that it is an established fact that women do not default on loans and therefore make very reliable partners. I know that money in a woman’s hand is money in the family.

I will review the Women Enterprise Fund to ensure that it supports women businesses better through capacity building, credit, and market support. I am sure many of us have seen mothers in Kithimani or Londiani with babies strapped on their backs running after buses to sell their wares. My government will ensure that this Fund supports these traders to get their produce to the markets in better ways.

Dear Kenyans,

We must go back to the basics. 50 years of plans, talking and policies that have not translated into better life for half the Kenyans is enough. The time for small talk and plans is over. It is time to implement the big picture that our founding fathers and mothers envisioned in the Sessional Paper No 10 of 1965. These are the promises that I will keep in order to deliver a decent life to you Kenyans.

Therefore my call to you is to be part of this journey. Believe in Kenya by buying Kenyan products. Let us support our brothers and sisters in the village not through handouts but by buying their products.  You will no longer need to M-pesa your relatives money to send their children to hospital or school because my government will take up its responsibility. Lets make our  food affordable by supporting our farmers in Eldoret, Kericho, Ahero, Bura and Mwea.

In this year of the Jubilee let us choose the path to plenty!

Together we shall succeed! Pamoja Tutafaulu!

HAKI YETU SASA. INAWEZEKANA!

Thank you and God bless you."

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