Wednesday, May 21, 2014

TOO MUCH ON PRESIDENT UHURU KENYATTA'S PLATE?

Everyday, it seems, brings with it new challenges to the Government of Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto.

During the first year of its existence, the Jubilee Government's main challenges were how to deal with labour strikes in the public sector and how to mitigate the complex issues surrounding the International Criminal Court cases at the Hague. There were also the emerging wage bill concerns and questions pertaining to the school laptop project.

Even then, many Kenyans felt Uhuru's Administration was overwhelmed by the demands of governance considering that it also faced integrity questions touching on the multi-million shilling standard railway gauge project and queries about high levels of corruption within its ranks. But looking at the events of the past few months, it is clear this Government has more on its plate than it can chew.

Name it: increased terrorism activities that have led to general panic among the populace, deaths and near collapse of the tourism industry; the never-endingAnglo Leasing debacle; the controversy surrounding the restructuring of the provincial administration; famine in some parts of the country; claims of nepotism in government appointments; and power struggles and issues of trust in devolved governments. All these and more are certainly matters that keep Uhuru (in his own admission) awake at night.

Also on its plate is the conundrum of how to wriggle itself out of a diplomatic quagmire resulting from the perceived fall-out with the West as a result of our bosom association with the East, specifically China. The tough talk directed at Europe and the United States has created a diplomatic stalemate that needs to be untangled sooner rather than later since Kenya's foreign policy calls for cordial relations with all nations.

I cannot remember anytime during either Moi's or Kibaki's government when we had such a multiplication of crises that required immediate and personal presidential attention as now.

The arrival next week of Raila Odinga, the opposition CORD leader, from a sabbatical in the United States, will present yet another nightmare for security agencies who must be alert to control the large crowds that will come out to meet him.

We saw what happened on Tuesday when university students took to the streets. What we were told would be a peaceful demonstration turned out to be a major security challenge. Motorists were harassed and robbed and a few people injured.

Security forces must be commended for taking action that saved lives and minimised damage to property in the city centre and elsewhere. The same must be done on 31 May when Raila arrives to ensure that crowds remain peaceful and unconcerned Kenyans are shielded from those bent on ill intentions.

It need not be emphasised also that the government must do everything in its power to protect the life of Raila given recent allegations of a plot to eliminate him. Any threat to a citizen of this country must be taken seriously.

However, the person who made the allegations - Raila's elder brother Oburu - must present himself to the Bondo police station to record a statement as advised by security officials. The authorities must be furnished with all the information regarding this matter to enable them execute their work efficiently as per the law.

And that is my say.