Tracking Ruto Promises One Year Into Office

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President William Ruto has not fulfilled around ten of the key promises outlined in his manifesto titled ‘The Plan’, a year into office. 

While on the campaign trail leading up to the August 2022 elections, Ruto made promises anchored on five pillars including Agriculture and Food Security, Health Access and ICT, Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) and Financing, Housing and Creative Economy. 

A year later, Kenyans.co.ke has compiled a list of ten promises that the Kenya Kwanza government has failed to keep. 

Two-Thirds Gender Rule

In his manifesto, Ruto promised to implement the two-thirds gender rule in elective and appointive positions in the public sector within a year after the elections, including 50 per cent cabinet positions for women. 

President William Ruto (left) shakes hands with DP Rigathi Gachagua on September 10, 2023.

PCS

However, while appointing his Cabinet in October 2022, he named seven women out 22 Cabinet Secretaries, short of the 50 per cent pledge. Additionally, of the 51 Principal Secretaries (PSs), only 12 are women. 

In his defence, during a live media interview in January 2023, Ruto said that he had to consider other factors including balancing region and age when making such appointments. 

He noted that his government hoped to realise the two-thirds gender mission through the office of Women Rights Agency advisor and advocate for the space of women beyond the appointments. 

State Capture

Further, the Kenya Kwanza government promised to establish a judicial public inquiry to establish the extent of State Capture in the nation. 

At the time, the government had accused its predecessor, Uhuru Kenyatta’s regime, of stealing public funds and driving the economy of the country to its knees. 

The judicial inquiry was to be formed within 30 days of his swearing-in. One year later, the president is yet to form the judicial team that would investigate state capture in the country. 

Enforced Disappearances

During his campaign trail, President Ruto had promised to end all forms of extra-judicial killings and forced disappearances by establishing a special Tribunal to investigate the matter, something which is yet to unfold. 

In October 2022, President Ruto, however, disbanded the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI)’s Special Service Unit (SSU), saying that the police unit had turned to killers instead of protecting the country. 

He added that the move was part of the government’s plan to solve the problem of extra-judicial killings. 

President William Ruto addressing residents of Emuhaya in Vihiga County after launching development projects in the region on August 29, 2023.

PCS

Sports Funding

In line with the government’s promise to identify and sustainable sources for sports funding, the head of state promised to establish a high-level expert task force within 100 days of his swearing-in. 

The deadline, however, expired on December 22, 2022, without the formation of the task force. 

Two months later, Ruto appointed billionaire businessman Narendra Raval to chair the task force to mobilise resources to supplement the government’s efforts towards coming up with a national lottery that would solve the sports funding challenges. 

Court Defiance

In his manifesto, Ruto promised that his administration would audit all court judgments that had been issued against the government, and make sure that the government abides by all court rulings.

Notably, the president also pledged his commitment to respect the independence of the judiciary. Months after assuming office, the president’s administration was accused of ignoring court orders by the opposition. 

In October, the Public Service Commission (PSC) said it would continue with the recruitment of the Chief Administrative Secretaries (CASs) despite a court order that had declared the position unconstitutional. 

In December, the president released Ksh44.8 billion National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) despite a Supreme Court ruling that had declared it illegal. 

Treasury CS Njuguna Ndung’u wrote to Parliament, upon the advisory of Attorney Justin Muturi, and ordered the funds to be released in weekly batches of ksh2 billion. 

Evictions

The Kenya Kwanza government pledged to prioritise and safeguard the interests of Kenyans by ending all unauthorized evictions and property demolitions, including those that do not follow due process. 

Further, those who ordered the evictions would provide notice to give those residing in the homes adequate time to vacate the premises as well as receive compensation where necessary.

However, a year after assuming office, the vice is yet to be eliminated as several families have in the past month been evicted from their homes following cases of land ownership with private developers. 

NHIF

While on the campaign trail, President Ruto promised to lower the contributions of the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) from the monthly charges of Ksh500 to Ksh300.

This, according to the government would accommodate more families into the tax bracket and allow them to benefit from the Fund. 

A year later, the head of state introduced a plan to make it mandatory for every household to make a 2.75 per cent contribution of its income towards the Fund. 

As a result, the government will take at least 20 per cent of the monthly pay from Kenyans earning Ksh50,000 and above. 

Police Officers’ Condition

Another pledge that has been set aside is the introduction of a contributory benevolent fund for families of fallen and terminally ill police officers in 100 days. This, however, has not been implemented by the Kenya Kwanza government. 

PWDs

The government also failed to keep the promise that five percent of all market stalls would be allocated to Persons With Disability (PWDs). 

Ruto had promised to look into the issues affecting persons with disabilities if elected president in the August 9 polls, pledging to give equal opportunities irrespective of their background and status. 

During the campaign trail, he promised to provide opportunities for persons with disabilities to acquire knowledge by enabling a special education scholarship to PwDs to better their education. This, however, was not implemented. 

Health

The president had also promised to find a long-lasting solution to the dispute involving counties and health workers within his first 100 days in office.

Despite several meetings held by CS Susan Nakhumicha to find a lasting solution, various counties have been on strike over poor working conditions.

Last week, Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists’ Union (KMPDU) announced that its members would go on strike on September 12, 2023, over shortages of doctors and healthcare workers amid unemployment challenges in both the public and private hospitals. 
 



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