Summary stats on failed Jubilee promises
- Jobs tops the list of failed Jubilee promises. Jubilee promised to deliver 1 million jobs per year. They delivered 804,000 jobs per year.
- There were 5.1 million job seekers when Jubilee took power. There are 6.4 million job seekers after four years of Jubilee’s leadership.
- Over 50,000 Kenyans lost their jobs in 2016 alone.
- International tourist visitors to Kenya were 1.7 million in 2012. The number has systematically declined over the last four years to a low of 1.18 million visitors in 2015. By 2016 the number was at 1.34 million visitors.
- Kenya was ranked 139 least corrupt country out of 174 countries globally in 2012. The ranking dropped to 145 out of 176 countries in 2016
Time is ripe for us to examine whether we have a successful or a failed Jubilee government. We will do this by going through the promises Jubilee made in its manifesto and highlight the failed Jubilee promises.
For those interested in going through the items Jubilee delivered, there is a delivery website that was launched in early April that you can visit. The website summarises deliveries under 12 flagship projects in 47 counties through 21 ministries. The 12 flagships are in ICT, Health, Lands, Infrastructure, Social Inclusion, Education, Food Security, Energy, Youth and Women, Ease of Doing Business, and Huduma Centres. As can be seen, the demarcation of the 12 flagship projects are already confusing – but that is not the point of this article.
Our focus today is to delve into Jubilee’s manifesto and get those failed Jubilee Promises which are quite a number. To begin with, Jubilee Manifesto is titled: TRANSFORMING KENYA – SECURING KENYA’S PROSPERITY – 2013 to 2017. This broad title makes it clear that Jubilee had the intention to implement transformative policies between the years 2013 and 2017, and to effect those promises, Jubilee identified deliverables under some 23 economic objectives. In today’s article, we take a keen look at the economic objectives of Youth Empowerment, Tourism, and Corruption and discuss whether the promises therein were delivered.
Youth Empowerment Promise
Youth Empowerment promise can be found in pages 28 and 29 of Jubilee’s manifesto. In the manifesto, Jubilee recognized that 70% of unemployed Kenyans are the youth and this is despite the fact that 92% of the very youth have some form of formal education. The manifesto identifies this discrepancy as caused by the failure of education system to confer relevant skills to the youth.
Further, in page 34 where the manifesto talks of Growth and Development: Building an Enterprise Economy, Jubilee recognized that corruption, unemployment and inflation continue to plague the Kenyan economy.
To address the unemployment issue, Jubilee promised to allocated funds to Youth Enterprise Fund, establish technical institutes in every ward, fight corruption, and specifically target a 7-10 per cent economic growth rate in the first two years of the Jubilee Government in order to create 1 million new jobs for the youth.
According to math, the number of jobs that Jubilee ought to have created by now should average 4 million. However, according to data from Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, between 2013 and 2016 (both years included) there have been a total of 3.2 million jobs created, meaning that about 804,000 new jobs have been created annually since Jubilee came to power. This figure by itself indicates a positive achievement on Jubilee government, but when examined by the percentage of people seeking employment every year, unemployment rate in Kenya remains unchanged.
The rate of unemployment by 2012 was at 40%, and by May 2016 the unemployment rate had dropped to a figure of 39.1%. Calculating against labor force that was 12.8 million in 2012 and 16.4 million in 2016, we find that 5.1 million Kenyans were actively looking for jobs across the country, and the number increased to 6.4 million job seekers by 2016. That is, 1.3 million new Kenyans joined the category of Job seekers within the last four years – averaging to an increase by 325,000 job seekers per year.
If Jubilee was successful in addressing the unemployment problem in Kenya, not only could she have created an environment for absorbing all the 5.1 million individuals that they found jobless by the time they were taking over the instruments of power in April 2013, but they could have expanded the economy to enable absorption of almost all new job seekers leaving technical institutes, colleges and universities every year.
On the contrary, what Jubilee did was to create an environment for job losses. Since 2014, NSE listed companies, except very few like Equity Bank, KCB, and Safaricom have been reporting decreasing profits, losses, and bankruptcies; a situation that led Mumias to temporarily shutdown a few weeks after the MD quit citing inability to revive the once upon a time a multi-billion profit making factory. This environment led to more than 50,000 formally employed individuals to lose their jobs in 2016 alone both in public and private sectors.
The failed Tourism promise
Shortly before Jubilee took office, they noted in their manifesto that tourism was at its peak with bed occupancy being registered at 92%. In order to expand the tourism industry that was already registering over 1.7 million International visitors per year , Jubilee promised to expand the bed capacity with an aim of doubling the number of tourists to over 3 million international visits a year.
What happened immediately after Jubilee took office is however shameful. Due to increased cases of insecurity incidences led by Al-shabaab and outright poor tourism policies, at the end of 2013 KNBS reported that “the number of international visitor arrivals decreased from 1.7 million in 2012 to 1.5 million in 2013”. The trend was to continue in 2014 where KNBS again reported that “the number of international visitor arrivals contracted by 11.1 per cent from 1.52 million in 2013 to 1.35 million in 2014”. Things didn’t look any better in 2015 as KNBS reported that “the number of international visitor arrivals continued on a downward trend, contracting by 12.6 per cent from 1.35 million in 2014 to 1.18 million in 2015”.
The only positive report was for 2016 where KNBS reported that “the number of international visitor arrivals experienced a rebound, expanding by 13.5 per cent from 1.18 million in 2015 to 1.34 million in 2016”.
By international visitors numbers therefore, what Jubilee government has managed to do for the tourism sector is to contract the tourism industry from 1.7 million visitors in 2012 to 1.34 million visitors in 2016 – a reduction by 360,000 visitors.
Kenya has successfully climbed the corruption ladder under Jubilee’s watch
The word corruption appears some 20 times in Jubilee’s manifesto, and each of those times the term is used to indicate just how much the vice slows down economic development by negatively affected different pillars of the economy.
Still, Jubilee manifesto has a whole pillar dedicated to corruption dubbed openness. Under this pillar, Jubilee committed itself to “fostering an open, tolerant, forward-looking Kenya with modern institutions that serve the people rather than narrow sectional interests.”
The manifesto goes further to acknowledge that “corruption has been tolerated in Kenya for too long”, thereby distorting the economy. To act against corruption, Jubilee reiterated that “it is time to get tough on those who seek to use their positions of power for their own personal gain.”
In the initial stages of Jubilee leadership, Kenyans were made to believe that the government would live to its promise. In March 2015, Uhuru Kenyatta would go ahead to table a list of shame in parliament, and shortly after he suspended Cabinet Secretaries and other Government employees that were in the list of shame so that they could be investigated. In November the same year, the President would go ahead and name corruption a national security threat, unveiling several measures aimed at tackling the vice.
But these empty talks with no meaningful action would come to a stop.
Hardly a year after Uhuru had declared corruption a national security threat, he rubbished Auditor General, in the presence of the Auditor, over the Auditor’s intention to travel to the US to investigate the allegations surrounding the Eurobond scandal. In the same month, Uhuru was to complain publicly with the statement, “mnataka nifanye nini” rhetoric to imply that he was powerless to act against the ballooning corruption monster that had continued to rare its ugly head on the economy.
What is important to note that by corruption perception index as established by Transparency International, in 2012 Kenya was in position 139 out of 174 countries with a score of 27. Fast forward to 2016 and Kenya has fallen to position 145 with a score of 26 out of 176 countries. The corruption perception index is drawn such that the country that is at position 1 is the least corrupt whereas the country occupying position 174 being the most corrupt.
During Jubilee’s leadership, Kenya has been rocked with scandals upon scandals ranging from NYS to the Eurobond scandal.
In part 2 of this series, we will examine the failed Jubilee promises in Agriculture, Education, and Infrastructure sectors.