Ruto’s 2022 campaign strategy revealed

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Details have emerged of how Deputy President William Ruto plans to fashion his manifesto and build momentum for his 2022 presidential bid.

From January, the DP and his men seek to hold public forums at the ward level to discuss county-based manifestos.

Ruto is banking on the public participation activities to give room for Kenyans to share their 2022 wish-list in line with UDA’s Bottom-Up concept.

The blueprint will be hinged on five pillars being employment and job creation, micro-small and medium enterprises, financial ecosystem, agriculture, social welfare and private sector development.

Insiders behind the strategy said leaders and residents of various regions have met, and are still meeting, to discuss their unique economic issues.

“The consultations have been between leaders, professionals, traders and businesses,” a source privy to the plan told the Star on Wednesday.

The groups then meet with the DP who has since signed the charters as a commitment, to factor the matters in the manifesto.

The proposals by the various cohorts are to be implemented should the United Democratic Alliance form the government after next year’s elections.

So far, only Rift Valley and North-Eastern regions have not had their charters signed but regional consultations are ongoing.

“After the signing, the documents will be taken to the villages, wards, constituencies and counties for consultation with the people,” the source said.

The DP’s team further revealed that Mombasa county has already started ward consultations.

“County charters will then be launched, ending up with a national charter,” the source added.

According to the roadmap seen by the Star, Ruto has planned to complete the ward-centred consultation activities by March 2022.

It is also within the said period that the DP seeks to complete the validation of county economic charters.

Ruto further plans to initiate consultations with various sector players on what they would wish his government to do should he succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta.

He seeks to engage health, education, labour movement, infrastructure, devolution, and private sector players to infuse their views on his agenda.

The DP is also seeking to involve players in the Kenya Association of Manufacturers and Kenya Private Sector Alliance on agriculture, tea, coffee, horticulture, dairy and livestock investments.

Between April and June 2022, the DP’s team would be involved in the signing of county economic charters. His team says the same would be county-driven.

It is during the same period that the UDA team seeks to conduct sector-specific consultations to set priorities agreed upon with sector leaders.

“The activities would culminate in the signing and launch of the national economic charter—a manifesto,” the source said.

Ruto’s team holds that they would want the process to be as participatory as possible so that citizens identify their socio-economic priorities.

The argument in the DP’s camp is that the trickle-down economic model has “failed in the sense that personal interests override public interest”.

“In the trickle-down model, selective interest in policy and legislation supersedes the common good.”

The UDA strategists backed the bottom-up model as one that is “simply making markets work for everyone.”

Under the pillar of employment and job creation, Ruto’s team is of the view that creating jobs must be a deliberate policy decision with deliberate programmes.

In what may be a divergence from the strategy employed by Jubilee, UDA seeks to put in projects that encourage labour-intensive investment efforts.

Ruto’s team seeks a departure from the model that requires capital investments like a housing project under the Big Four.

UDA further seeks to put more effort into MSMEs arguing it is a source to 80 per cent of jobs in Kenya, approximately eight million Kenyans.

Those targeted in the team are mama mbogas, hawkers, boda boda operators, barbers, salonists, and small scale traders.

“Interventions will include investing in proper market infrastructure that protects and not criminalises these sectors through appropriate legislation,” the plan reads.

Ruto also seeks to promote a financial system that is fair to everyone and that removes predatory lending.

The plan is to end over reliance on shylocks and emerging digital lending platforms believed to charge in excess of 3,600 per cent per annum.

“Financial cooperatives will be one of the key pillars of our financial intermediation,” the plan reads.

On Agriculture, Ruto seeks to create a “supportive infrastructure for farmers to market their produce, inputs and extension services.”

The DP would also be out in the wards to seek views on how to eliminate cartels through the promotion of farmer groups or cooperatives.

UDA minders hold that this would help in terms of quality control and marketing.

“It is expected to enhance farm productivity and agro-processing/value addition and manufacturing that translates into increased farmer incomes and wealth creation,” the plan reads further.

The end game is to not only lower the cost of living through consumers access to low-cost quality foods but also put money in their pockets.

Under the social welfare pillar, UDA plans to roll out universal health coverage through targeted investment in the country’s health infrastructure.

The bid is to put up structures, both nationally and at the county level, backed by a proportionate health insurance programme.

UDA also wants Kenyans to explain how they want the government to deal with savings and social protection.

The plan is to promote a savings culture not only through NSSF but through other forms of local savings.

“Other interventions will be in education, governance and leadership,” the plan reads in part.

The consultations will follow the ongoing public sensitisation and awareness creation on the bottom-up economic model that the DP has been engaging in since June.

So far, UDA says it has agreed with regional leaders and local professionals on a framework the bottom-up economic consultations and participation.

 

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