Kenya

Kenya’s 2nd Debate: Candidates Grilled On Economy, Corruption

ampoule http://clearskinconcierge.com/acne/wp-includes/functions.php geneva;”>As opposed to the first round, side effects http://choladathaicuisine.com/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/class.jetpack-signature.php the second began at about 6.45pm on Monday with the real debate starting 45 minutes later at 7.30 Pm.

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All the seven men and a woman who were more oriented to the platform came knowing what to expect from the debate.


Restore and Build Kenya’s James Ole Kiyiapi, Martha Karua (Narc Kenya), Peter Kenneth (Eagle Alliance), Musalia Mudavadi (Amani Coalition), Raila Odinga (CORD), Jubilee Alliance’s Uhuru Kenyatta and Mohamed Dida of the Alliance for Real Change.


With strict Moderators the presidential debate kicked off on a higher pitched notch with matters surrounding Economy and cost of living, corruption and post election violence taking centre stage.


Like the first round the debate was divided in to 2 sections moderated by Citizen TV’s Uduak Amimo and KTN’s Joe Ageyo.


The Debate kicked off with matters surrounding economy and cost of living. Uduak Amimo of the Royal Media Services moderated the first session of the debate where aspirants met head on the matters that have affected the Kenyan society in the last 50 years.


Former Education Permanent secretary James Ole Kiyiapi was the first to answer the question on the minimum wage. Kiyiapi said that Minimum wage should be based on the country’s economy.


He argued that his government shall engage the trade unions to come up with appropriate minimum wage.


“Our biggest capital is the human resource. It should be managed well,” said Kiyiapi.


Narc Kenya’s Martha Karua said the main idea should be based on livable wage as opposed to the minimum wage.


“It is not about minimum wage but livable wage, according to ILO, it is a question of having a strong labor movement so that they can have the strength to negotiate with employers,” said Martha Karua.


Karua reiterated Kiyiapi statement saying that her government shall partner with workers to come up with minimum wages depending on other public services.


On his part Coalition on reforms and democracy (Cord) presidential candidate Prime Minister Raila Odinga said there is need to have a tripartite dialogue to discuss the cost of living to determine the minimum wage.


The PM further said that for a country to grow it must subscribe to global growth as well.


“For us to grow we should be competitive in the international labor market. We know the cost of living in Kenya but it is not static, it’s moving and therefore I believe if the economic growth shall be the determining factor,” said Raila.


The chronicles of Mohammed Abduba Dida continued where he said that Kenya has been a country that has been mismanaged by those in leadership.


He took the stage as a platform to criticize those who have been in elective position of not providing tangible solutions to the country.


“Due to economic inequalities, 90 per cent of Kenyans are marginalized. Nobody is super Kenyan. It is unfair for Kenyans to earn KShs8,000 while leaders earn KShs500,000. I advocate equity for all citizens,” said Dida.


On his part Jubilee Alliance flag bearer Uhuru Kenyatta argued that the Living wage is not fixed. It depends on various factors. He said that his government will ensure that everyone lives decently.

“We need to ensure that we don’t increase our salaries as politicians. Jubilee is focusing on reducing the cost of agriculture and housing to ensure Kenyans have a decent life. I rejected the proposal by MPs to award themselves huge pay perks when I served as Finance Minister,” said Kenyatta.


Planning assistant Minister Peter Kenneth said there is need to reduce the current wage bill by the government. He argued that there is need ‘we cushion Kenyans from external factors like oil prices.’


“We should cushion Kenyans from external factors. I sympathize with the common workers because they are suffering,” said Peter Kenneth.


Safina Presidential Candidate Paul Muite on his part said Kenyans need to get the wage that befits the current state of the economy hence assuring them of decent living.


Amani Presidential candidate Musalia Mudavadi on his part said it was sad that Kenya does not have a good wage policy. He says the existing policies have not been reviewed for a very long time


“I would review our wage policy. The Sh8, 000 is not sustainable in the long run, economic slumps around elections are not unique to Kenya,” said Mudavadi.


He reiterated the statements by Peter Kenneth adding that the cost of fuel is very prohibitive in the country yet they are contributing factors in the low wages.

However, Uhuru Kenyatta promised to recommend a freeze in the wages of the top public officers to ensure sanity.


“Public servants should be awarded a sensible salary,” said Kenyatta.


Mohammed Dida provided a rather different dimension to the debate on the issue saying that his government would not only recommend a freeze, but require them to pay it back while Raila said he would rather recommend a reduction, beginning with himself.


Goldenberg scandal Corruption

The ghosts of the previous scams resurrected on the floor of the platform with Muite involvement in the Goldenberg scandal taking the centre stage.


The moderator was so categorical on the matter and asked the former Legislator to state whether he had received Ksh20million.


“I did not get a bribe from Kamlesh Pattni over Goldenberg, Pattni himself accepted that he never gave me any money,” said Muite.


Muite said that that was a mere politicking and he played an important role of whistle blowing.


“It was a campaign against me, I believe the report on the scam is there,” argued Muite


Musalia Mudavadi could not escape the ghost by that time he was a cabinet minister in charge of Finance.


He said he was the man who stopped further payment to the Goldenberg international.


“I terminated the Goldenberg after I was appointed to the cabinet in 1993. I played a key role in shutting down Goldenberg, in was not involved in the scandal,” said Musalia Mudavadi.


However Musalia Mudavadi was found in yet another arena of the cemetery land scandal. Musalia said that he was the one who wrote the Anti-Corruption to investigate the cemetery scandal.


Dida said that “Pattni confused everyone in the country.” And therefore that was an indication how leaders were after self interests when elected to various big offices.


Anglo-Leasing scandal

The other ghost that the politicians could not avoid was the Anglo-leasing scandal that was whistle blown by former ethics and governance Permanent secretary John Githongo.


Martha Karua said that she was the one who provided protection to the whistle blowers of the scam that was the first under the Narc government in her capacity as Justice Minister.

“I am the one who provided protection for Charterhouse scandal whistle blowers. I gave them full support in accordance with the law while I was Justice Minister,” said Martha Karua.


However, the Narc-Kenya presidential candidate said that in her capacity she never held a press conference to denounce John Githongo’s expose on corruption.


“I gave witnesses who came forward I gave them full support in accordance with the constitution,” re-affirmed Martha Karua.


Other corruption scams

Prime Minister Raila Odinga could not escape the public scrutiny over the infamous Kazi Kwa Vijana scam. He termed the scandal as orchestrated by bureaucrats who were out to frustrate his office efforts to put money in the pockets of jobless youths.


“The Kazi kwa Vijana was conceived to cushion the youths through road construction projects among other. We punished the culprits of the Kazi ka Vijana scandals and the World Bank continued to fund the project. Bureaucracy can frustrate efforts,” said Odinga.


Raila, however, defended his decision of not sacking the minister for medical services Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o over the NHIF scandal saying there was no concrete evidence.


Mohammed Abduba Dida couldn’t escape the hook either. He was asked why he has been recruiting Kenyans to go and work as domestic workers in other countries.


In defense Dida blamed the government for neglecting Kenyans living out of the country despite the fact that they pay taxes in terms of foreign remittances.


“We have to take the advantage any system that will bring money back to the country, I quit the government because of funny salaries and working conditions,” said Abduba Dida.


The Computer error issue also resurrected with Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta insisting that ‘The error in the budget was just that-an error and no money was lost, the “typing error” was investigated and found that it was just an error.’


On the issue of money missing Abduba quizzed “Did you expect a thief to tell you he has stolen?”

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