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Kenya can’t afford to use billions of shillings to please three men, State House says

President Uhuru Kenyatta addresses the press at a past event. (Photo: Elvis Ogina, Standard)

The country cannot afford to spend billions of shillings to please three individuals at the expense of creating jobs for the millions of youth who actually need them, State House has said.

State House Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu said it was unfortunate that instead of creating wealth, the opposition’s plan is to abuse existing wealth so that three people can get jobs.

“You know, people have agreed to take jobs that don’t exist … so, one of the opposition leaders was saying in a media interview that the first job for the team will be to use billions of shillings to change the Constitution so the three phantom jobs can be legitimised,” Mr Esipisu said.

The State Spokesperson was responding to a question raised in reference to the opposition’s leadership structure during his weekly briefing at State House, Nairobi, today.

Mr Esipisu said opposition figures ought to know better that they cannot somehow enact constitutional changes within 90 days of taking office to create three jobs.

“Making constitutional changes that require a referendum will simply not take three months. It will take years. And considering how citizens have rejected MPs and Governors that they don’t believe have used their resources prudently, they are unlikely ever to agree to spend billions of shillings to create jobs for the three men promised phantom ones,” he pointed out.

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But unlike the opposition, Mr Esipisu observed, President Kenyatta was focused on committing resources to lift the lives of Kenyans.

He cited the expansion of electricity access, building of roads, construction of the Standard Gauge Railway, improving access to NHIF and providing money to the elderly under Inua Jamii programme as some of the initiatives that President Kenyatta has been undertaking.

“You know – for instance – Vihiga County has 16,000 recipients of Inua Jamii. Those are the programmes that will be threatened by suddenly shifting billions to fund a referendum to create phantom jobs for three people,” Mr Esipisu pointed out.

On party nominations, the State Spokesperson said President Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party has allowed democracy to thrive and the will of the people to prevail.

“The President has said, and repeatedly so, that the decision on who he works with, within the party, going into 2017 and beyond would be made by Jubilee members themselves. The citizens must have their say because it matters,” the Spokesperson said.

He added: “You would have noted that right across the country, the party the President leads allowed citizens to make that choice without interference of any kind. No story of a returning officer and a deputy presenting different results, no funny stories of losers being declared winners.”

The spokesperson also talked about the strides made by the Jubilee Government towards the transformation of the country’s economy by providing access to affordable energy for all Kenyans.

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While highlighting progress in the provision of reliable energy, Mr Esipisu said the implementation of the 310 MW Lake Turkana Wind Power project is ahead of schedule.

The wind power project, with an investment of Kshs 70 billion, is one of the largest private investments in Kenya’s history. The wind farm covers 40,000 acres (162 km²) and is located in Loiyangalani District, Marsabit County.

Mr Esipisu said the project will provide reliable, low cost wind power to Kenya’s national grid for 20 years.

“In addition, and complimenting the wind farm, the Jubilee Government is currently developing a 428 km, 400kV transmission line that extends from Suswa due north to the Lake Turkana Wind Power site (via Naivasha, Gilgil, Nyahururu, Rumuruti, Maralal and Baragoi),” Mr Esipisu said.

He said the transmission line will evacuate the much needed power from the wind farm to the national grid at Suswa.

In reference to Nairobi, Mr Esipisu said the Jubilee Government has managed to connect more than 1,008,022 households to the national grid under the Last Mile connectivity project.

“This amounts to more than 5.5 million Nairobi residents including those in low-income earning areas being connected to power. The net effect is reducing the cost of lighting,” he said.

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Mr Esipisu also talked about development in Northern Kenya where he said devolved funds amounting to Kshs 17.68 billion have been transferred to Garissa County since 2013 while the CDF allocation in the same period stands at 2.28 billion, implying that a large chunk of cash has been available to help grow the county.

In Wajir County, the amount of money transferred through the devolved system since 2013 is Kshs 22.15 billion whereas the CDF allocation since President Kenyatta’s Administration came to office is Kshs 2.53 billion.

In Mandera County, the amount of money transferred since 2013 is Kshs 27.43 billion whereas the CDF allocation in the same period is Kshs 2.99 billion.

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