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Nine blunders by the Jubilee government so far

The Jubilee government has been in turbulent waters since allegations of grand corruption and pilfering of public resources began emerging in the media.

In a previous special report, Nairobi News delved into the successes of  President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration. Today we highlight some of its failures.

1.High government expenditure

President Kenyatta over the weekend acquired the tag of a “tourist President” following media revelations that he had undertaken a record 43 foreign trips so far. Though the government defended the foreign travels, citing value in terms of the deals between Kenya and other countries, some of the benefits cited are worrying.

2. Insecurity

This has been the biggest blot to the Jubilee government. Its inefficiency in combating Somalia’s Al-Shabaab militants has led to the sacking of former Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Ole Lenku and former Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo. But the attacks have continued unabated.

A statement by President Kenyatta blaming the Mpeketoni terror attack on the opposition, for instance, epitomised the poor leadership in the security docket.

3. Increase of hate speech
Selective police action has been applied when politicians both from the opposition and government perpetrate hate speech during public events.

So far politicians who have been accused of perpetrating hate speech include Kiambu governor William Kabogo, Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria, Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama and former Nairobi mayor George Aladwa. Out of all those only three have been arraigned in court with two of them being from the opposition.

Hate speech and all forms of abuses have become the order of the day in public rallies and investigations on the statements take ages.

4. High cost of living
Cost of living in the country has skyrocketed with wananchi struggling to make ends meet. The cost of household goods like flour, milk and sugar has increased significantly. Production costs also keep soaring despite a decrease in electricity and fuel costs.

5. Corruption
It is the elephant in the room. The Jubilee government has been wimpy in fighting corruption within its ranks even as the Auditor General keeps unearthing reports of massive loss of public funds.

President Kenyatta’s move to suspend five cabinet secretaries in March has been ineffective.

The latest claim of Sh 140 billion allegedly stolen from the Eurobond cash adds to the embarrassing list of corruption scandals under the Jubilee administration.

6. Economic mismanagement

The value of the shilling has continued to depreciate in the financial market, recording an all-time low in September when it hit 106 against the US dollar.

The unstable shilling was once attributed to insecurity that had negatively impacted the tourism sector.

Kenya’s East African neighbours are recording stable economic growth rates and her place as the regions economic powerhouse appears no longer certain.

7. Disgruntled public workers

The number of strikes by public officers, mainly teachers, has significantly increased in the last two years.

The government has been accused of reneging on collective bargain agreements. The disruption of the school calendar during Jubilee’s tenure has stood out as an emblem of shame.

8. Curtailing media freedom

The government has been on record for gagging the media through the signing of the controversial Kenya Information and Communications (Amendment) Bill into law. The law introduced stiffer penalties for media houses and individual journalists and ignored all the changes that had been proposed to it by media interest groups.

The arrest and probing of Daily Nation’s Parliamentary Editor John Ngirachu over a story that was purely based on parliament committee proceedings is also an indication of the government’s fight against media freedom.

9. Disregarding campaign promises

The Jubilee coalition is yet to fulfill its pledge of issuing laptops to class one pupils to improve the quality of education in the country. This particular promise had a timeline in the jubilee manifesto and was to be fulfilled in January 2014. The procurement process has been embroiled with multiple court cases. The ambitious plan has since moved to issuance of tablets.