A Year of ‘Jubilee’: looking back at 1 year of Kenya’s new government

4 Min Read

This week marks one year since Kenyans held their first general election under a new

Kenya’s 4th President Uhuru Kenyatta (Photo credit: Uhuru Kenyatta)


Unlike the travesty of the previous poll, the outcome did not spark violence and bloodshed. The outcome was instead contested through constitutional means in court.
Unlike the previous poll Kenyans did not wait 2 months with bated breath for a ‘forced marriage’ type Grand coalition, this time round the waiting was only 1 month for Kenya’s newly minted Supreme Court to uphold the victory of the ‘marriage of convenience’ style Jubilee Coalition.

This piece is not about the poll itself, it’s about the one year that the performance of the Jubilee government that was established by the last poll.
The Jubilee government promised Kenyans a lot of things when they were on the campaign trail.

On the one extreme, pledges such as hosting the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations are already dead in the water, with Football Kenya Federation missing the deadline for submitting bids by a whole month!

On the other hand ‘signature pledges’ such as free maternal health care, turning the approximately 68 million USD saved from not having a runoff the ‘Uwezo Fund,’ and a scheme to irrigate 1 million acres of land have gotten of the ground with relative lack of fuss.

In between those two extremes, most of the other flagship projects have been bogged down by some form of political interference, if not outright corruption. In particular is the scandal around how a Mombasa to Nairobi standard gauge railway project was tendered to China Roads and Bridges Company (or was it given to a Kenyan briefcase company with exactly the same name?)

Finally there was the issue of the ongoing criminal cases against both the president and his deputy

Apparently the way pan-africanism works these days is if you touch a Kenyatta (or any scion of a political dynasty from Africa, heck any incumbent tin pot president), you touch the whole of Africa.

Forget crises in South Sudan, Somalia, and Central African Republic where thousands of civilians live in continuing peril. Forget issues like food insecurity, human rights or democratic accountability. If the African Union is going to call all 54 of its sitting heads of state to an extraordinary summit to discuss something of critical importance, then that thing can only be to remind the world that all sitting African Heads of State are above all laws (national and international) so long as they can continue clinging on to power.

But I digress. Though it would certainly be unfair to make conclusions about what Uhuru Kenyatta’s government is a success, or a failure, (Kenya offer them to succeed) the early signs point indicate that we are only just beginning to a long and hard struggle to make the Kenyan dream, as envisioned by Jubilee a reality

Share This Article