Men and women who will make or break President’s legacy

By Daily Nation

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From left: Mr James Macharia (Transport), Ms Sicily Kariuki (Health), Mr Mwangi Kiunjuri (Agriculture) and Ms Farida Karoney (Land). These are some of the Cabinet secretaries expected to help President Uhuru Kenyatta shape his legacy. FILE PHOTOS | NATION MEDIA GROUP

When President Uhuru Kenyatta addressed the nation on Jamhuri Day in 2017, he outlined four key areas that he hoped would shape his legacy.

They include food security, affordable housing, manufacturing and universal healthcare.

“During the next five years, I will dedicate the energy, time and resources of my administration to the big four,” said the President last year.

According to a draft budget policy statement released last weekend, the government seeks to raise the share of manufacturing sector from nine to 15 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) by 2022, expand food production and supply, provide universal health coverage for all Kenyan homes and build 500,000 affordable houses.

FULL CABINET

The naming of the full cabinet on Friday finally placed the names of men and women who are expected to help him achieve the agenda.

Affordable Housing pillar is hinged on Mr James Macharia, who will continue serving as Transport and Infrastructure Development secretary assisted by former senator Chris Obure as Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS). The others are the Principal Secretary (PS) Transport, Paul Maringa, the PS Infrastructure, Julius Korir and the PS shipping and Maritime who remains Nancy Karigithu.

Mr Macharia said he will continue with the far-reaching projects under his docket.

SGR PHASE TWO

“The focus will be twofold: completing the ongoing flagship projects including SGR Phase 2A and 2B, Phase 2 of second container terminal Mombasa , actualise USA direct flights, upgrade of JKIA to a truly world class airport, achieve key milestones on LAPSSET corridor, complete the 10,000 km roads project (7,000 already either completed or in progress). We also intend to materially enhance road safety through far-reaching policy measures with the support of law enforcement agencies including traffic police. On the other hand we will get under way with the 500,000 housing project as a primary mandate and enabler through infrastructural support,” he said.

Universal healthcare will depend upon Sicily Kariuki, as CS for health. The CAS will be Rashid Aman and Mr Peter Tum as PS.

Ms Kariuki said she intends to settle down in the docket earliest time possible.

TRANSFORMATIONAL

“The approach I intend to take is transformational. It cannot be business as usual and we intend to deepen the partnership with all stakeholders. I will listen to all sides but the underlying issue is that the president’s vision must be achieved. I have studied the Budget Policy Statement and its clear what the President wants to achieve. I am already preparing psychologically on the task ahead,” she said.

By the end of 2018, the government hopes it will have increased the number of people with health coverage from 16.53 million to 25.74 million, a figure that will hit 51.57 million — Kenya’s projected population by 2022.

The food security pillar will be overseen by Mr Mwangi Kiunjuri as cabinet secretary for Agriculture. The ministry also has, PS Livestock Andrew Tuimor, the PS Crop Development Richard Lesiyampe and Ps Agriculture Research Hamadi Boga.

The food security pillar will also be reliant on CS for Water and Sanitation Simon Chelugui (if nomination passes) alongside Chief Administrative Secretary Winnie Guchu. Mr Chelugui said if confirmed by Parliament the task ahead is not lost on him.

CLEAN WATER

“Clean water and sanitation is part of sustainable development goals (SDGs) that United Nations has identified. Most parts of the country have water scarcity issues. Provision of clean water will therefore be a priority. Without Water the four pillars won’t be realised and I intend to reach out to all stake holders and see that the President’s vision is achieved,” he said.

There is also Ministry of Land with proposed Cabinet Secretary Farida Karoney, CAS Gideon Mung’aro and the PS Nicholas Muraguri.

In manufacturing, Mr Adan Mohamed will continue as CS for Industrialisation and Enterprise Development with PS for Industrialisation Betty Maina.

In the leather industry, President Kenyatta targets the production of 20 million shoes by 2022, while increasing export revenue in the industry to Sh50 billion in the next five years. Kenya buys 30 million pairs of shoes a year, yet it has the third-largest cattle herd in Africa.

On textile, the government is targeting the development of cotton production using hybrids, which will have three times the production yield and give incentives to investors to build modern ginneries and textile manufacturing plants.