NAIROBI– Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta late Monday launched his party manifesto pledging to focus on industrialization, creation of more than 1 million jobs for the youth and expansion of infrastructure.
Kenyatta, who is seeking his re-election for the second and final five-year term in office, also promised to introduce a free medical cover for the elderly aged 70 years and above and free secondary education starting January 2018.
“We are building a 21st century hi-tech industrial revolution in Kenya. Our plan is to continue to develop our nation’s transport, ICT and energy infrastructure so that Kenya attracts global industry and, with it, a huge expansion in sustainable, high quality, hi-tech jobs for everyone, young and old,” Kenyatta said.
“We wish to give you a government that works with, and empowers the people. We will empower the 45 million people so that they can stand up for themselves without depending on the government and donors,” he added.
Kenyatta faces stiff opposition from former Prime Minister Raila Odinga who has unsuccessfully vied for the presidency thrice.
Odinga, who leads the opposition coalition, the National Super Alliance (NASA), and Kenyatta have been going around the country to seek votes from their supporters for Aug. 8 general elections.
The Jubilee Party Manifesto for 2017 was unveiled in Nairobi on Monday evening where Kenyatta spoke of his administration’s achievements in the last four and half years, which he said had set a firm foundation for the empowerment of Kenya’s 45-million-strong population.
Kenyatta listed achievements including the completion of the first phase of the Standard Gauge Railway, more than 7,000 kilometers of roads constructed since 2013, expanded electricity connection, enhanced generation and distribution of power, return of vehicle assembling plants, and improved global standing in terms of doing business.
Kenyatta said the focus of the Jubilee Government in the next five years will be to create more jobs and wealth through proper policies and financing to speed up the industrialization of the country.
“Employment creation is at the heart of the next Jubilee administration’s priorities. We commit to creating at least 6.5 million jobs over five years to ensure that our people, particularly our youth, can secure and maintain good jobs that enable them to enjoy a decent life,” he said.
Kenyatta said his administration will work with county governments to establish at least one industry in every county.
He said his government will double the number of vulnerable citizens supported through the cash transfer programme from 700,000 to 1,400,000.
“This will include all citizens above the age of 70; in addition, all citizens above the age of 70 will obtain health insurance cover through the National Hospital Insurance Fund.