Kenya’s ruling Jubilee coalition and main opposition coalition have launched their campaign platforms for the August elections.
Launching their campaign pledges the ruling Jubilee party and opposition coalition National Super Alliance have promised to transform the country and Kenyan’s lives.
Both sides pledged to improve education, health, infrastructure to foster economic growth, and to create jobs for millions of Kenyan youth. They also promise to fight corruption.
The Jubilee party led by President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to win a second term in office. The party is campaigning on a platform featuring development projects like a passenger and cargo railway to win voters in the August polls.
Political commentator Sam Kamau says the promises made by the government and the opposition are the same.
“They have focused on the same issues, even the target and the things they hope to achieve are basically the same," said Kamau. "The only thing you can say is a bit different is the spirit in the two manifestos. Partly because on the Jubilee side they have been in the government for the last four and half years and this manifesto should be an audit of some of the things they have done and therefore what they can hope to achieve if they continue in government. For the opposition it is an opportunity for them to showcase what they can do if they are given the rein of power.”
Some Kenyans are questioning whether the pledges made by the politicians can be achieved or implemented.
Professor Herman Manyora is a political analyst and lecturer at the University of Nairobi. He says Kenyans are used to false promises.
“These are things they can not do, they just promise to that extent. Therefore people are not putting much capital on this. People are not expecting anything out of them, and more importantly, our people vote along the tribal line,” he said.
The opposition is promising to form an inclusive government, solve historical injustices and unite communities.
Manyora says an equal society can help bring an end to bad governance. “All these things you say you want to do, you cannot do them if you do not have a united country. If you do not have inclusivity, people feel they belong to this country. You cannot complete road projects if you cannot deal with corruption, because corruption will eat all the money.”
Kenya has witnessed electoral violence in several campaigns over the years. In the 2007 disputed presidential election up to 1,500 people may have died and more than a quarter of a million were uprooted from their homes.
In the August 8 election, Kenyatta is running for a second term in office against several challengers, including former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.