Four years ago, President Uhuru Kenyatta spelt out a new agenda for his administration. He proclaimed himself on the “Big Four Agenda”, which comprises food security, affordable housing, universal health coverage (UHC) and manufacturing. The objective was to rally the government machinery to focus on these, predicating them on Kenya Vision 2030, which was enunciated a decade earlier by retired President Mwai Kibaki.
But two years to the end of the Jubilee administration, the promises remain unmet. UHC, for example, was prioritised with launches of pilot programmes in select counties. To date, the plan has not been consummated.
The challenge facing the government is economic decline in recent years that dealt a severe blow to capital development and service delivery. Many projects are launched but never get completed due to poor planning, inadequate funding and outright resource theft and wastage. Some projects may have been completed but failed to serve the intended purpose.
This explains a raft of activities within government this week.
First, Cabinet secretaries were sent out to the counties to monitor ongoing projects and fast-track them to conclusion. Secondly, the President shuffled some principal secretaries and chief administrative secretaries. He also named new chief administrative secretaries.
Thirdly, yesterday, he convened a meeting of CSs, PSs and CASs to review progress on the projects. Subsequently, he directed them to move with speed to deliver on them and prioritise the Big Four.
This is vital. It does not make sense to launch big projects and pump in money but fail to complete them; that is sheer wastage of resource and a disservice to the public. But this should not be episodic. The President should conduct regular checks to determine the progress of projects and service levels.
Ministries and departments have work plans, complete with timelines and costs. Put emphasis on implementation. Those unable to complete projects and programmes on schedule should be exited. We need accountability and results.