Nasa to unveil region-specific manifesto

Nasais set to unveil its campaign manifesto containing region-specific programmes on Monday ahead of the August 8 polls.

The manifesto is tailored to address the needs of every corner of the country in a bid to appeal to all Kenyans.

Unlike the 2013 Cord manifesto that was based on a 10-point action plan, Nasa’s region-specific promises have been collapsed into seven pillars addressing national reconciliation and healing, resolving historical injustices including implementing the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) report, realising equality of women, youth and persons with disabilities, strengthening devolution, transforming government by implementing servant leadership, realising social and economic rights as enshrined in Article 43 of the Constitution, and eradicating poverty and unemployment.  

CREATE JOBS

In its 2013 manifesto, Cord had sought to create jobs, address food and national security, form a people-led government, eradicate poverty and reduce the high cost of living, guarantee social equality, put in place infrastructure and address land reforms, quality education, health care and national cohesion.

The Nation has learnt that the Nasa manifesto – to be launched at the Racecourse Grounds in Nairobi on Monday – heavily borrows from the Okoa Kenya proposal by which the opposition wanted to amend the Constitution.

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“The manifesto is very strong on 45 per cent of resources being devolved to the counties and is also very strong on agriculture and food security.

It borrows a lot from the Okoa Kenya manifesto.

For instance, it states that governors or county governments for that matter must have a say in security matters within their counties,” said Mr Paul Mwangi, the director of legal affairs in the Raila Odinga Presidential Campaign Secretariat.

ONE MILLION SIGNATURES

The Okoa Kenya proposal failed to proceed to the national referendum after failing to meet the required threshold of one million signatures according to Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). But the opposition then accused IEBC of working in cahoots with the government to sabotage the process.

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Under the Okoa Kenya Bill, the coalition promised to raise from 15 per cent to 45 per cent the revenue allocation to the counties by the national government.

The manifesto also has the input of each of the five Nasa affiliate parties among them ODM, Amani National Congress (ANC), Chama cha Mashinani, Wiper Democratic Movement and Ford Kenya.    

With just 50 days to the General Election, Nasa hopes to rally the electorate behind it using the pledges that are specific to the needs of each region.

SEVEN PILLARS

Guided by the seven pillars and a resolve to address the unique needs of the counties Nasa, for instance, will be promising residents of arid and semi-arid regions a Pastoralist Livelihoods Protection Marshall Plan (PALIPMAP).

The plan promises to establish permanent storage facilities for hay, fodder, and supplements as part of drought mitigation; development of sources and watering infrastructure; animal processing facilities and access to international market for livestock and livestock products.

The plan also proposes the establishment of leather processing facilities for local and export markets, development of tourism facilities including filming sites, desert safaris and eco-tourism “to make youth transit from militia activities related to cattle rustling to becoming owners of tourism services facilities”, establishment of small-scale and large-scale irrigation projects to provide animal feed and water; and effective livestock disease control mechanism including creation of disease-free zones.

FOOD SECURITY

With the current maize, milk and sugar shortage in the country, the opposition plans to go big on food security under a plan dubbed Kenya Integrated Food Security Marshall Plan (Keinfose Plan), “a martial plan to make farming attractive and food available at prices that Kenyans can afford.”

The plan terms the state of food insecurity “pathetic”, noting that prices for staple foods are out of reach of most Kenyan families.

The opposition attributes the prevailing situation to “a serious disconnect between the existing policy framework and the reality on the ground”.

This includes low and unstable agricultural production and productivity occasioned by over-reliance on rain-fed agricultural production systems, poor or no access to affordable agricultural credit by resource-poor producers and inadequate infrastructure.

PRODUCER PRICES

Also, high cost of production vis-a-vis low producer prices, coupled with high uncertainty in income flows due to price volatility in agricultural commodities, and inadequate institutional support.

“Keinfose Plan aims at enhancing food production, storage, processing and availability to the final consumers (from-farm-to-table-value chain). Under the plan, Nasa government will provide necessary support to farmers to access adequate and high quality agricultural inputs, credit, irrigation equipment and services and access to the market,” the highlights of the manifesto states.

It notes that the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) has storage capacity that far exceeds its current need and utilisation.

MINIMAL COST

“The reserve capacity of NCPB storage will be released for warehousing of farmers produce at minimal cost. At full capacity NCPB storage structures would take care of three million households (18 million Kenyans) for a year.”

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The key elements of Keinfose Plan include incentives to land owners in areas of good agricultural potential to put land currently lying idle to agricultural use; provision of water for irrigation to small-scale farmers by developing water sources, water pans, dams and reticulation systems; revamping the agricultural extension services; and, strengthening post-harvest handling of cereals and other grains to reduce losses by installing driers at close proximity to the farmers to enable harvest of cereals and grains at their biological maturity stage so as to free land for second crop during the season.

The opposition will also be promising to support farmers with a measure to mitigate the high cost of production that often causes high food prices.

REDUCING TAXES

“This will be achieved through reducing taxes on fertilisers, chemicals, equipment and other farming related services,” the opposition says.

It adds that the Nasa government “will formulate and implement a Marshal plan to build sustainable integrated programmes and plans that would recognise the critical role played by the pastoralists’ communities in meat production for local and export market.”

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Under the plan, Nasa also pledges to build water reservoirs including dams and water pans in the agricultural belt to enable small scale agricultural producers access water for domestic use, irrigation, crop production, livestock and other farm activities, enable County Governments to establish bulk storage, aggregation centres and preservation facilities for various farm products particularly for drought resistant produce, and provide necessary support to farmers to access adequate and high quality agricultural inputs, credit, irrigation equipment and services and access to the markets among others.

ATTRACTIVE INCENTIVES

Nasa insiders also spoke of attractive incentives for mineral rich counties, including sharing of billions of shillings from oil revenue.

In the past, the coalition’s presidential candidate Raila Odinga had criticised President Uhuru Kenyatta for rejecting a Bill proposing a formula for revenue sharing.

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