This beautiful home that houses the Campaign Secretariat would not have been possible without the contributions of many ordinary Kenyans, some of whom are here with us today. Without your partnership and support, we would not have reached the FORTY COUNTIES we have visited so far, or received the genuine encouragement from the many young people, women and men who struggle to hold on to a diminishing optimism.
But neither would this place be a workplace as homely or its outputs as profound were it not for the young men and women who quietly and diligently come in every single day, to volunteer their time and dedicate their passions to the pursuit of a better Kenya for you and me. It is to them that this day truly belongs.
As a mother of two young adults am reminded and inspired by young Kenyans from all walks of life who step up to direct the future of this country in their various capacities. It reminds me how as a young lawyer I too chose to step up and become part of directing the future of my country, how I became politically active and later ran for office. My upbringing instilled values of integrity, hard work and duty to my neighbor. Values that I hold dear to this day! That is why I am running for President of Kenya, to defend our Constitution as a framework of that hope which guarantees all Kenyans a life of dignity and equality; I am running to restore faith in our public service and institutions; I am running to inspire each one of us from the smallest to the biggest, the richest to the not so rich, the mighty and the weak to play their role in the pursuit of the promise of a Greater Kenya! Every Kenyan is my neighbour.
Twenty years of multi-party democracy has brought us many goodies, and we must never forget the sacrifices of those who made it possible for us to have the power to choose our leaders without intimidation. But these two decades of electoral democracy have also taught us that to consolidate our democratic transformation, we must broaden our vision of the possible, shift the focus for change from politicians to the voters.
We now know that real far reaching change cannot come to Kenya until and unless there occurs a fundamental transformation in the hearts and minds of Kenyans as VOTERS. To turn the silent majority into a critical majority. To ask different questions; or to ask the same old questions differently this time round. Questions of bread and milk and cost of fuel. Questions of Integrity and leadership as service.
Let us all then take a moment to reflect on the Kenya we want. The president we want with Kenya as ONE...a country of a tribe called Kenyans. The campaigns we all, or at least people of good will, desire...where only ALLIANCES of VALUES and not political expediency and ethnic bigotry truly count!
We are perturbed neither by pollsters nor opinion polls. They are just Kenyans trying to earn a living in a difficult economic environment. But my faith and fate is in the hands of the many Kenyans who encourage me and who we continue to rally together around shared values, aspirations and dreams of a greater Kenya!
A Call to Action
If you are still standing on the sidelines but feel the same urgency for a new politics; if you are debating whether to vote or not in the next election but even in the hazy horizon see the many possibilities that beckon, if like me you have faith and trust in the power of unity, THE POWER OF ONE! then I would like to personally invite you to Step Up and do something however small in you immediate environment, start a conversation within your circle of friends ,within your sphere of influence! Jitokeze!
And now Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to share with you, albeit at a glance, what a Martha Karua presidency will mean to the projected 50 million Kenyans by 2013.
Our Policy Pillars:
A Martha Karua presidency will
1. Erode the power of impunity through a new spirit of CONSTITUTIONALISM
- I will fight corruption from the frontline and inspire a new faith in our public service. You know that you can count on me for a realistic but faithful implementation of the Constitution
- An unwavering commitment to Green Governance: prioritize clean, renewable and affordable energy for industry and homes. We MUST avoid a ill-advised technological obsessions like Nuclear mis-adventurisms.
- There is no better or simpler way to ensure water security through targeted investments and environmental protection
- We must provide bold support for homegrown innovators to build and secure Kenya’s position as continental ICT hub
- Seal loopholes in the financial sector and reinforce fiscal discipline across government (Treasury admits that we lose up to one-third of Budget annually through corruption. Sealing these will release immense resources for social services)
- Reduce income tax burden by broadening tax bracket and eradicating official corruption that raises tax on energy, food and essential commodities
- Commitment to a national plan to reduce our debt
- protect workers, reduce capital flight, and reward domestic job creators, industries and innovators thru’ targeted incentives
- Commit 10% of annual budget to agriculture as required by continental policy standards
- Campaign to Diversify eating habits and address infrastructural challenges to market access, post-harvest handling
- Restore farmers’ confidence through technical and financial support, and price guarantees for essential food crops
- I feel the need for a Comprehensive health system strengthening with focus on public education, preventive medicine and institutional recovery
- Deliver education as experience and education as positively responsive to the needs of industry and society
- Invest in Middle-level colleges, revamp and broaden scope of Youth Polytechnics, and revamp research support to public institutions
- Defend Kenya’s territorial integrity and prioritize the safety & security of border communities
- Humanize our Police service thru’ comprehensive reforms in entry qualifications, terms, equipment, and continuous professional training
- Establish a Diaspora Investment Authority (DIA) to encourage and secure investments by Kenyans
- Consolidate and market our strategic advantage as regional diplomatic, financial and technological hub