I will create an enabling business environment for investors if elected president Raila says

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Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition presidential candidate Raila Odinga with President of Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI), Mr Richard Ngatia, during an NDC meeting at a Nairobi hotel. PHOTO/JOSEPH MATHENGE

By OUR REPORTER

Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition presidential candidate Raila Odinga has promised to create a conducive business environment for investors if elected president.

Mr Odinga said an Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition government is going to fight corruption and create a level playing field for businesses to thrive in the country and to spur national economic growth.

“I want to take this opportunity to assure the business community that as Azimio we are going to create an enabling business environment for investors if we win the August 9 polls,” Mr Odinga said.

The Azimio presidential candidate was speaking at a Nairobi hotel when he attended the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) national delegates conference (NDC).

The ODM leader recently appointed the President of Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI), Mr Richard Ngatia, as the coordinator of Azimio presidential campaigns.

Mr Odinga said Azimio is going to eradicate bureaucracy and red-tape that is undermining businesses to thrive in the country and also scaring away possible investors.

“As Azimio we know that every country needs taxes but if taxes are very high, the tendency to evade them is very high. So we are not going to have punitive taxes but those that are supposed to spur investments and economic growth,” he said.

He also promised to fight corruption ruthlessly across the board saying the country’s criminal justice system is going to be streamlined to meet the expectations of investors and Kenyans.

“Some decisions by the judiciary are scaring away investors but we are going to work with the Chief Justice and other stakeholders in the criminal justice system to insure the judicial plays its rightful role,” he said.

Mr Odinga noted that if Azimio is going to form the next government it is going to fast-track transformation of the economy by curbing runaway corruption and sealing of revenue pilferage loopholes.

“As Azimio we have unveiled a very progressive manifesto that is going to result in a new economic take-off and we are determined to win on this front,” he added.

Mr Odinga said an Azimio government is going to revive the cotton industry to help revive the textile industry that is going to support the second-hand clothes sector through providing ‘factory rejected’ clothes.

“I did not say that we are going to do away with the second hand clothes sector as some people are claiming, I meant that we are going to reform it to be supported by the local textile sector,” he said.

On Monday, Mr Odinga and his running mate Martha Karua officially launched the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition manifesto that details their economic blue-print for Kenya.

In the manifesto unveiled at the Nyayo National Stadium, a day after he was cleared by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to vie for presidency, Mr Odinga listed a 10-point agenda.

His manifesto is centred on a ten-point agenda that includes; Azimio la Ugatuzi – this includes increasing devolved resources and advancing a “One County, One Product” programme.

President of Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI), Mr Richard Ngatia and Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition presidential candidate Raila Odinga cut a cake during a KNCCI NDC meeting at a Nairobi hotel. PHOTO/JOSEPH MATHENGE

Other aspects are; Azimio la Jitihada that focuses on manufacturing as the driver of economic revolution is envisaged to spur growth of all sectors of the economy resulting in employment and wealth creation.

Azimio la Kina Mama is a programme will unlock access to financing for women-led businesses and provide support for women on other enabling factors such as access to assets for production, land tenure and proportional representation at all levels of government.

Azimio la Ukulima focuses on creating an enabling environment for climate-smart agriculture, agro-processing, improved livestock farming and growth of the blue economy.

Azimio la Viwanda focuses on the manufacturing sector shall produce input materials like steel, copper, and glass for further processing into finished products, and secondary production of goods like engineering manufacturing machinery, transport and agricultural machinery, tools and implements to be applied in the mechanization and automation of agriculture, livestock, blue economy, mining and processing.

While, #Inawezekana / Azimio la Wananchi  recognises that whichever administration comes into power, the people remain sovereign and the government is theirs, and there should therefore be continuity and minimal disruption even as priorities are reviewed.

“BabaCare” primarily focuses on social protection and transformation, and secondly upscaling Universal Health Coverage to Universal healthcare. All citizens should enjoy the right to accessible, quality, and affordable healthcare.

While, Waste not a Single Child –a programme that will be an aggressive scheme to ensure that all, not some children, get rightful access to quality education and Maji kwa Kila Boma is a commitment is to make clean and safe water available to all Kenyans.

Administrative Continuity is about custodians of power remaining accountable for the mandate bestowed upon them by the electorate. The cornerstones of this agenda encompass battling corruption, and ensuring efficiency and optimality in Public Service Delivery.

Mr Odinga said that Kenya had started off well after independence by investing in entrepreneurs but this process was hijacked midway by power-brokers thereby halting the country’s economic advancement.

He said the NARC government led by the late President Mwai Kibaki, helped to reverse this spiraling into a bandit economy and was able to fund 95 percent of its budget from internal revenue with only five percent coming from donors.

“That’s why I am optimistic that if Azimio wins in the August 9 polls we are going to transform our economy once again,” he said.

Mr Odinga promised to uphold the country’s economic dreams as envisaged in the Vision 2030 economic blue-print and ideas created by the National Economic and Social Council institutions that gave the country a clear development roadmap.

The Azimio leader said Kenya is going protect the foreign immigrant workers sector by entering into labour bilateral agreements with foreign governments so as to create more job opportunities for jobless Kenyans.

“We are going to put in place the right mechanism in all our embassies overseas as they can ensure the rights of Kenyans working in foreign countries are protected,” Mr Odinga noted.

Currently Kenya only has labour bilateral agreements with Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates while initially Kenya had LBA with more than 20 countries. Mr Odinga said an Azimio government would restore and increase LBA with more countries.

Mr Odinga also assured foreign migrant workers recruitment agencies that issuance of travel documents for Kenyans going to work abroad would be streamlined to ensure the documents are issued with delays.

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