For Kenya: A country and nation-state in which public policy serves the public interest, not private interest. A self-confident, assertive and united Kenya. A prosperous and respected Kenya.
For Kisumu Rural: An increasingly prosperous constituency characterized by sustainable social and economic development, and by the enthusiastic participation of all – women, youth and wazee – in the development effort. An electorate empowered to take its destiny into its own hands. An electorate once again optimistic and confident of the future.
To be a leader who leads from the front, and from the heart. To bring back hope and self-respect, and the respect of the nation, to my constituents. To represent them with courage and conviction. To give them the means “to fish,”so as to eliminate the need for handouts. To regenerate the community's social capital by way of new thinking and related activities. To be, in a word, a catalyst and an overcomer. At the centre of all our effort will be innovative Value Added Production (VAP) of goods and services, and a creatively structured synergy between Kisumu Rural and Kisumu City.
MY AGENDA/PRIORITIES/PROGRAMME OF ACTION:
MY Agenda -- The Main Problems I Propose to Prioritize and Tackle:
1.Poverty/Unemployment/Underemployment: Gross incomelessness.
2.Infrastructure: Underdeveloped and deteriorating
3.Education: Declining or stunted educational institutions in terms of physical facilities/amenities, equipment (including ICT) and staffing, and sub-par performance in national exams
4.Health: HIV/AIDS and Malaria pandemic; unplanned evolution of the public health sector
5.Social: The precarious lives of widows and orphans, as well as idle/isolated youth
6.CDF and related Funds: gross misuse and mis-allocation of funds, leading to lost opportunities and arrested futures
7.Leadership: Arrogant and neglectful leadership. For nearly forty years, the country's dominant political culture has been neglectful and at times even hostile to the poor. There is dire need for new, people-oriented leadership and, above all, new thinking – at the Constituency and Ward levels.
The Solutions [My Programme of Action]:
["Piny omewo, ji to odhier!” – The land is rich but the people are poor. Why are they poor? Many reasons. For one, they have not had strong and concerned leadership]
1. Nurturing of Income Earning/Generating Opportunities and Assets (To secure the present, for today's parents and out-of-school youth; a precondition for dongruok ma medore)
– Jobs, Self-employment (trade, craft skills, tools of trade, credit, backward and forward linkages, tourism, services)
“Employment gives the otherwise poor, the employed, the resources with which to overcome poverty – or keep it at bay. The higher the returns accruing from employment, the more distant the risk of poverty...” – Mauri Yambo
According to the World Bank, past experience shows that poverty is now best tackled by means of a three-pronged strategy: 1. Promoting Opportunity for Poor People. 2. Facilitating Their Empowerment. 3. Enhancing their Security.
– Revive agriculture; energize trade and markets; develop synergies.
– Focus on the Demand Side. Government should not just concentrate on Social Overhead Capital of the old kind: Roads, bridges, airports, dams, harbours. A new concept of SOC must be adopted which recognizes that mobilization and galvanization are key ingredients of progress. Institutions must be set up to generate critical mass in selected areas of socio-economic life.
- The fundamental goal is to put increasing amounts of hard-earned cash (and related assets) into the pockets, vibeti, accounts and other secure holdings of hard-working constituents, and to ensure that those assets grow and work for them.
2. Improved Infrastructure (rehabilitated, regularly maintained, expanded transportation and communication networks): roads, bridges, beaches, culverts, power lines, telephone lines, water pipelines, boreholes, etc.
3. Revolution in Education and Training [To secure the future, for the next generation and for posterity, and to enhance the prospects for sustainable development. This requires improved income. Paradoxically, however, years of schooling have a positive relationship with one's “income-earning ability” (see World Bank Policy and Research Bulletin of October-December 2000/January-March 2001, p. 1)]:
a. Focused programme of physical facility development: Improved design, use of a more durable mix of materials, maintenance plan.
b. Equipment: Laboratory Kits for Secondary Schools, Libraries, Books.
c. Performance: Establishing Centres of Excellence, ICT connectivity (Bridging the Digital Divide), Getting rid of a nagging sense of isolation among students and teachers, improve quality of teachers.
d. Technical Training
e. Enhanced role for Maseno University
4. Health: Secure local access to quality health services
5. Improve Social Life (improve Quality of Life): Requires improved income, and presupposes increased access to potable water (Water Harvest Project), improved diet/food among the people, improved shelter/clothing, increased access to electric power (hydro and solar), improved and widespread social amenities/leisure, enhanced networking opportunities for the youth and women and keep youth busy so as to distract them from many anti-social ways.
6. Innovation: in goods and services (music, pottery, tourism, etc)
7. Environmental/Disaster Management: focusing on our rivers, wetlands, Lake Victoria and other water sources and resources; our rocks; and paying attention to floods, soil erosion, and tree-cover.
8. CDF and related funds: To devolve CDF allocation to the sub-Location and to ensure broad-based participatory prioritization of sub-Location projects.
9. Kombewa 2037: To transform Kombewa not just into a model constituency headquarters, but the hub of our socio-economic and political lives from which development will visibly radiate to all corners of the constituency – including such centres as Akado, Daraja Mbili, Holo, Lela, Kaloka, Kolenyo, Kondik, Reru and Riat.
10. Leadership: As the new MP, to be the embodiment of the leader the constituency has in mind and can look up to. As the MP, to spearhead a new wave of confidence-raising across our local communities. To be the role model as motivator, energizer/catalyzer and galvanizer [ “Nyiso ni wanyalo tiyo gi wiwa ma walok ngimawa.”]
By way of conclusion, let us note, as Hardiman-Midgley (1982: 5) pointed out some two decades ago, that most social problems have their roots not in individuals' shortcomings but in “broader external conditions in society as a whole.” Furthermore, social problems undermine development, and will not disappear on their own without determined state intervention. Why state intervention? Because “while voluntarism and local self-help are to be encouraged, the social problems facing developing countries are of such magnitude and have their causes in conditions of such complexity that state intervention is required to deal with them effectively.” This is indeed in the spirit of social democracy, which ODM espouses.
[November 9, 2007]
NOTE: This document is posted for the record only. I had prepared it in early November 2007 for the campaign leading to ODM parliamentary nominations. I was seeking the party's nod for the Kisumu Rural parliamentary seat. However, just a day before the scheduled nomination exercise and at the very end of intra-party campaigns, it was announced in the media that ODM headquarters had given direct nomination to the incumbent, Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o. Everyone knew that he was facing stiff competition from six contestants. The announcement forced five out of the six to seek last-minute nomination in other parties, convinced that there was no way the incumbent was going to win in a straight fight. I was secured nomination as a candidate of Chama Cha Uzalendo (CCU), but my campaign maintained the same vision, mission and agenda.