Now that it’s apparent CORD is being folded to usher in NASA, it’s only fair we reviewed the opposition coalition. Let’s look at what the principals achieved through CORD. Now, before you slap me with tired escapist lines like ‘we are not in government..so you can’t gauge us’, let me remind you that ( thanks to devolution) implementation of party manifesto isn’t the preserve of the ruling party alone.
The 24 CORD governors and hundreds of MCAs had 4+ years to give Kenyans a taste of what good governance would look like. A chance to show what CORD Government would look like. And this is not an extraordinary demand to put on the opposition…it has happened elsewhere and led some opposition outfits to power. A close example is Nigeria where Buhari defeated Goodluck. I read that, apart from organized campaigns, the opposition party won the hearts of many by implementing its manifesto via the governors in states they controlled. CORD there nothing stopping CORD from implementing the implementable parts of their manifesto.
CORD’s Performance so far
Here is what CORD promised Kenyans on January 28, 2013 and how they’ve delivered on the said promises (the implementable sections of their manifesto)
1. On Jobs, they promised to ‘lay the foundation to propel Kenya towards being productive and self-sustaining economy, paving the way to jobs and dignified lives for all’. No part of our laws prohibited CORD governors from creating jobs for the youths for instance. It would be that, while Jubilee was ‘failing’ deliver the jobs they promised, CORD county chiefs came up with income generating activities however few. Please let me know if such foundations are in any of the CORD counties.
2. On Food Security, CORD promised to ‘transform the agriculture, livestock and fisheries sectors to ensure adequate food for everyone’. Interestingly Agriculture is a largely devolved function, yet agricultural practices in most CORD counties are subsistent and at best out-dated. What or who stopped the alternative government from modernizing fishing around L. Victoria? Or there was no more to improves lives but enough to loot or fund a 12 million/year tea budget?
3. On National Security, the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy said they ‘will be very tough on crime and terrorism and even tougher on their causes’. While provision of security remained Jubilee’s headache, CORD went physical to oppose tougher security laws and didn’t shy away from playing politics with our insecurity. Exact opposite of what they promised.
4. On People-led Government, the current opposition said that ‘good governance and gender equality are critical to achieving peaceful co-existence and sustainable development’. Did CORD nominate more women than Jubilee to the 11th Parliament? And can what’s been going on in most CORD counties qualify as good governance? You be the judge.
5. On Poverty and Cost of Living, they said ‘they’ll activate the Komesha Umaskini Initiative to increase investment for greater productivity and more job opportunities. Do you really need to be in power to make such initiative? Why am I yet to hear of such a noble enterprise in any of the counties the coalition controls? Or they lack the means to launch Komesha Umasikini Initiative but fully equipped to run Okoa Kenya Initiative for close to 3 years?
6. On Social Equality, they were ‘to develop policies to reduce poverty levels to less than nine percent in 2030’. I don’t know if the governors are not allowed to come up with such good policies. But I think such pro-the-poor policies are a taboo considering that almost all the 24 counties under CORD seem to be oblivious of that bit of the manifesto. Wait, that might not be a devolved function.
7. On Infrastructure and Land, CORD talked of ensuring that ‘Kenya has world-class infrastructure and services necessary to achieve Vision 2030’. The last time I saw one of the CORD governor try something drastic as regards to roads, stadium and a park, he was labelled a mole and is no longer CORD’s favorite.
8. On Education, CORD boldly pledged to offer universally accessible quality education to all Kenyans at all levels. Well, only ECD is devolved so I can’t possibly gauge CORD counties on that. But come to think of it, what Education Bills has CORD sponsored that would help realize the promise of free education to all? Just thinking aloud! Like I said, Education is Jubilee’s problem.
9. On Health Care, a lot was promised but this stood out; confronting head-on the institutional weaknesses, mismanagement and corruption. Homa Bay Hospital has all the answers you are looking for. Don’t forget, health is fairly devolved. But I may be wrong, perhaps Mombasa county is doing fine in healthcare and sanitation.
10. On One Indecisive Nation, CORD had this to say ‘CORD rejoices in the mosaic of cultural, ethnic, religious, racial and geo-ecological differences that characterize Kenya. At the same time, the CORD government will be steadfast in the promotion of national unity. CORD will build one nation’. Amusing, isn’t all of it? On CORD and promotion of peaceful co-existent, I wouldn’t waste my breath.
Again, I leave it for you to rate CORD as an alternative. You may share their legislative agenda because I found none other than dismal performance in parliament and unbearable noise in political funerals (whining about tyranny of numbers). Better still, you can save yourself unnecessary troubles and read Why CORD Has Failed So Far. Let me know what you think..