With 87 days to the much awaited August 9 presidential election, details of agreements establishing political coalitions and alliances have leaked to the media.
On Wednesday, May 11, the deed of agreement establishing the Kenya Kwanza alliance that brings together United Democratic Alliance (UDA), Amani National Congress (ANC), Ford Kenya, Maendeleo Chap Chap, Chama Cha Kazi and The Pamoja African Alliance (PAA) among others, leaked.
The 17-page document drafted by Tharaka Nithi Senator, Kithure Kindiki, outlines the composition, running and management of the coalition. The document also outlines the priority projects Deputy President, William Ruto, will concentrate on should he be elected President on August 9.But what exactly has the deputy president promised the people of Western Kenya and Coast that has kept Wycliffe Musalia Mudavadi, Moses Masika Wetangula and Amason Jeffa Kingi by his side?
Goodies for The Coast People
According to the agreement in our possession, Mr Ruto – upon winning the presidential vote – has promised to reverse operational changes that have seen activities at the port of Mombasa relocated to Nairobi Inland Container Depot (ICD) and the Naivasha dry port.
Mr Ruto, in Article 7 on Priority Projects and Programmes also promises to put in place necessary reforms at the port of Lamu.
“Put in place necessary reforms to ensure the Port of Lamu brings measurable employment and other economic benefits to the local communities and revive the cashew nuts, coconut and Bixa industries especially in the coastal region,” reads Article 7(b) and (c) of the agreement.
The ambitious plan by Mr Ruto also promises to review the Coast Guard Act and other laws so as to enhance the protection of local communities that rely on fishing as the main economic activity.
The deed of agreement adds that the national and coastal county governments will establish a formula for sharing the benefits from the region.
Mr Ruto has also promised to ensure equitable representation of coastal residents in the national government.Involve local communities in the management and benefit sharing of the resources associated with the Blue Economy,” Article 7(d) reads.
Article 7(e) adds: “Establish a benefit sharing arrangements between the National Government and local communities in the coastal region in respect to mining and other natural resources.”
Kenya Kwanza has also promised to address the historical land injustices in the region by reforming the necessary laws as well as setting up a land compensation fund to assist the locals to purchase land from absentee landlords.“Ensure equitable representation of residents of the Coast region in National Government Appointments and their equitable representation in all the cadres of the Civil Service, disciplined forces, Kenya’s diplomatic staff and all sectors of the public service.”
The Western Kenya Promise
In his ambitious plan, Mr Ruto has promised to deliver the ‘failed’ Jubilee manifesto to the people of Kenya but on condition that Mr Mudavadi and Mr Wetangula deliver at least 70 per cent of the total votes cast in the region.
In his list of priority, Mr Ruto will reward Western people for their loyalty by completing all the existing incomplete or stalled road projects in the area.
According to Article 22 of Priority Projects of the deed establishing Kenya Kwanza alliance, the Deputy President has also promised to deliver one thousand kilometers of tarmac roads in Western Kenya within the first five years of his tenure as President should he win the August 9 vote.
He has also promised to revive the sugar economy in the region by pumping funds to the sector.
“Allocate nationally raised revenue for the revival and modernization of Mumias Sugar Factory, Nzoia Sugar Factory as well as other sugar factories,” reads Article 22(c) of the agreement.
“Establish manufacturing, fisheries, agro-processing or housing projects as may be resolved by the Party Leaders Forum.”
The agreement further states that future member parties or regions of Kenya may “negotiate for completion of old projects or implementation of new roads or other projects in other parts/regions of Kenya to ensure equity in the sharing of the nationally raised revenue by all the people of Kenya”.
The deed also gives room for adjustments to accommodate other parties that may join at a later date (pre or post-election coalitions).
The Mount Kenya and Rift Valley Promise
Although the agreement remains silent on the direct benefits these two vote-rich regions will enjoy, it is clear that they will produce the presidential candidate and the running mate.
With the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) set to produce the two top job candidates, it is no brainer that Mr Ruto – the party’s presidential flag bearer – will be deputised by a leader from Mount Kenya.
Among those being fronted to deputise Mr Ruto are the current Tharaka Nithi Senator, Mr Kithure Kindiki, Mathira Member of Parliament, Mr Rigathi Gachagua, his Kandara counterpart Alice Wahome, and the Kirinyaga governor, Anne Mumbi Waiguru.
Sources with the coalition, however, said Mr Kindiki and Mr Gachagua were the preferred candidates by both Mr Ruto and his co-principals.
Political Party Funds
According to Article 23 on the Kenya Kwanza agreement on sharing the Political Party Funds, the coalition agrees that the funds will be distributed among the member parties on their numerical strengths from the County Assembly to the National Assembly and the Senate.
The revenues also collected by the coalition will as well be shared on the individual party’s strength.