Former Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri’s The Service Party has set seven conditions that must be met by presidential candidates seeking the support of the vote-rich Mt Kenya region.
TSP wants the top presidential candidates to commit that should they win in the August 9,2022 presidential race, they will ensure there is proportionate equity between the numbers of votes and the sharing of the national cake.
The outfit noted that equality of the vote is a basic right in the Constitution that needs to be assured and given effect by the next government.
“Inequality of the vote is a historical injustice that must be corrected without further delay and for us to support any presidential candidate, they must commit to supporting this agenda and the irreducible minimum in broad daylight,” TSP said in a press statement.
The one year-old party is also demanding that the presidential candidates eyeing to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta should table a formula that will address existing inequalities without oppressing other Kenyans .
The other demand TSP is putting on the table is the assurance of the right for the residents of the region to own property, live anywhere and be elected.
“Every election year, it is unfortunate that voters in certain parts of the country experience threats, intimidation and incitement against certain candidates,” TSP said after a meeting with aspirants for various positions in next year’s election.
It added, “Such intimidation must end. All Kenyans have the right to live anywhere in this country and seek elective positions should they wish to.”The Service Party leader Mwangi Kiunjuri in Thika on Tuesday.
Image: John Kamau
Kiunjuri’s party also wants the candidates to assure the region that their governments will allocate more resources to agriculture.
The outfit demanded that the budgetary allocation to agriculture which is largely a devolved function, should be raised to a minimum of 10 percent of the total public expenditure.
“This will enable the establishment of Guaranteed Minimum Returns (GMR), mechanization of agriculture to bring on board our skilled youths and other critical priorities,” it said.
TSP also said there should be a guarantee that the next government will make access to credit affordable for small and medium enterprises, saying they are creators of employment.
In particular, TSP wants affordable credit facilities to be set aside for start-up businesses.
On Universal Health Care, TSP said “it no longer receives mere lip-service and must get the adequate budgetary allocation.”
It is also demanding that the next regime should commit that it will pay off all debts owed to contractors and suppliers who are currently having their businesses auctioned.
“TSP demands that the post 2022 government must undertake to make timely payments to its contractors and suppliers within sixty days upon issuance of certificates on invoices,” it said.
With the outcry from Kenyans over the wanton mismanagement of public resources, TSP is seeking to ensure that the next government will be prudent in use of public resources.
To deal with this, TSP is demanding that a Special Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) unit be established to complement existing institutions such as Auditor General, the Judiciary, the office of the Director of Public Prosecution and the Anti-Corruption Commission to enhance the fight against graft.
Speaking to the Star after the meeting with party members in Embu county, Kiunjuri said his party will field candidates in all the 47 counties.
He said TSP commits to the unity of Kenya and the “general welfare of our people” calling on Kenyans to seek Covid-19 vaccinations, take IDs and to continue registering as voters as the fate of this country lies with them.”
“As part of our preparedness for the general elections, we have been listening and engaging Kenyans around the country. We have heard them loud and clear – this time they will not vote for leaders based on euphoria; but they will be looking for individuals’ character, leadership ability, service delivery record and issues people care about,” he said.