President Uhuru has surprised me and probably other Kenyans with his lessor focus on development issues and networks for the whole country even as the election wars rage on.
On Wednesday, the president was in Bungoma county where he provided the funding needed to re-start the Nzoia Sugar company and put it in full operation. The sugarcane farmers there needed this badly. The farmers have not been paid forever and the sugar company was crumbling to the ground.
The president goes there and provides Shs 500 million to get everything moving and the best part of this was that Shs 450 million of that money goes directly to the sugarcane farmers and the government officials were asked by the president to have that money directly deposited to the accounts of the farmers.
That is really great for these people who just cannot survive without money for sugar they already provided to the factory. The balance of Shs 50 million goes to the factory to pay their workers and get back to business.
The factory managers promised to get everything going by Friday this week. Let that start and don’t screw up again and be back on the same spot and that is where the Azimio government comes in after August 9, 2022.
Please Raila and Martha, find away to keep these sugar factories working and sustainable so that they don’t need bailouts every two years and actually grow. That is the job President Uhuru is handing over to you. Do it with all your smarts, your energy and coordination with all parties involved including sugarcane farmers, factory workers and the management.
There is a reason these folks in Bungoma greeted Uhuru with so much energy and joy as he bailed out their primary source of livelihood. If the Azimio team of Raila Odinga and Martha Karua can ensure that our agri-business run by the state can function, produce and grow it will be a huge problem solved for Kenyans. Just do it, please Baba na Martha. It is one of your big challenges now. Take it and run with it. Will you?
The other really big thing President Uhuru has done in July 2022 was to order the issuing of 1 million title deeds to Kenyans which is underway as we speak and almost complete. There are 5 million more title deeds already processed and when Azimio takes office they should prioritize the issuance of those title needs mara moja.
Kenya is an agricultural country. For most Kenyans the only asset they have is their land which most of them have been using as families for generations. The problem is they don’t have Title Deeds for their own lands. They can grow stuff there but they are not legally recognized as owners of their land. It is a big nightmare for them now.
In the past it did not matter as long as they were using the land they did not care. Now it is a completely different story. Everywhere in Kenya including the rural areas people are venturing into business. They want to open a restaurant in their local town. Some want to start a bakery to produce bread which actually can be done at the local level. But they have no capital to do that. They want a loan and often they don’t want millions but just a little something like Shs 200,000.
With the Title Deeds that would be gravy and those rural folks pay their loans. I remember my sister running some restaurants and she pays the loan even before she feeds her kids. She has no Title Deed even though we own a good piece of land in our municipality.
You know why she has no Title Deed for family land. She is a woman and so me her brother living 10,000 kilometres away has the Title Deed because I was the only boy in a family of five. All that stuff has to be solved but the biggest issue in front of the next government is to release all those processed Title Deeds to Kenyans. There are 5 million of them as of right now. Uhuru has started the process and our next government has to move it very fast.
President Uhuru’s record with infrastructure development from ports in Mombasa and Lamu, Expressways in Nairobi, roads all over the country, a new port in Kisumu and so many others is phenomenon. Enough said. Over to you Azimio.
And there is this astonishing and brilliant idea of the Dada Export Zones which the president opened and which would be heaven for Kenyan women who produce most of the stuff Kenyans eat and how about if they can do all that for export. It would expand our economy beyond imagination.
So the president yesterday opened this Dada Export Zone in Kisumu and it can be expanded all over the country with so many different products if the infrastructure and the logistics are done right to facilitate the sale of products produced by our dadas to the international market. They can produce just about everything needed out there. Yes Please bring the Dada Export Zones for Kenyan women in every area of our export business.
How about the country develop a Dada Export Zone for women in Lamu who harvest fish from the ocean and have little market or productive gear to earn from their work and skills. Give them the tools to work in the waters and get fish. Give them the tools to process the fish they get. And then open the export market for those products. How can that be wrong.
And the women who produce avocados which has big demand world wide. Do the same for them. Then Kenya can start talking about the empowerment of women in the country. This Dada Export Zone concept is a big deal. Kenyans are going to make it work with the help of a good government. About time.
Dadas Export Zone for Kenyan art and all that comes with it can be very helpful. Kenyans have great art products they can export because there is a market out there for their products.
Adongo Ogony is a Human Rights Activist and a Writer who lives in Toronto, Canada