[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Great Lakes
Last Updated:  Tuesday, 8 April, 2003, 01:05 GMT 02:05 UK
Kenya's new era assessed
By Kariuki wa Mureithi
BBC, Nairobi

President Mwai Kibaki
President Kibaki is accused of being too hands off
President Mwai Kibaki came into power with a promise to provide almost everything that his predecessor, Daniel arap Moi, failed to deliver.

The list was enviable: free primary education, a new constitution, half-a-million new jobs a year.

But 100 days later, Mwai Kibaki's Narc government has still to make a start on delivering on many of the pledges it made during the election campaign.

Instead it has been rocked by controversy over huge pay hikes and appointments to key government jobs.

Also, ordinary Narc supporters have been complaining loudly that Mr Kibaki has become an absentee president.

They say he has not been seen or heard much and worry that the country is being poorly governed.

Defence case

Vice President Michael Wamalwa Kijana admits that mistakes have been made but he says that after 40 years of one-party rule, they first had to get to grips with the complicated business of governing.

Anti-corruption moves
Free primary education moves
Prison reforms begun
Crackdown on civil service

"I think the Narc government has laid a very sound and solid foundation. Ministers have performed their duties with foresight and dedication to the Kenyan nation," he says.

He adds that after learning the basics of governing, the honeymoon is now over but says they have made noticeable progress in once key area.

"We have provided free and compulsory primary school education. I believe this is no mean achievement in three months."

Prosecution case

The opposition say the provision of free primary education is the only promise Narc has even attempted to fulfil.

They point to other promises such as the curbing of insecurity, creating employment and a review of the constitution as some of the pledges that remain unfulfilled.

Huge salary hikes for MPs
New cars for MPs
War in Iraq impacts on economy
Travel warnings affect tourism

"These last three months have seen no progress. We are not seeing anything concrete being presented by ministers," says opposition Kanu party chief whip Justin Muturi.

"One is not really able to know who the Narc leader is. We think there are a lot of problems which we cannot explain."

Blurred vision?

Mr Kibaki's style of government is certainly different from that of President Moi, who ruled the country for 24 years.

He delegates power to his ministers, unlike former President Moi, whose presence was noticeable at almost all levels of government.

Since Narc lack vision, they are now fighting each other
Professor Katama Mkangi

He has also been unwell following a serious car accident during last December's election campaigns.

Professor Katama Mkangi of Nairobi's United States International University says the problem could be the lack of direction and leadership.

"Since Narc lack vision, they are now fighting each other. They do not have common objectives. This is Narc's weakness.

Mr Mkangi feels Narc has already betrayed the people in its first 100 days in power.

"The leadership is laid back. One wonders whether this has anything to do with the president's health or not. Kenyans are in disarray."

What is clear is that Kenyans are taking some time to adjust to Mr Kibaki's less autocratic style of government.

A selection of your thoughts on Mwai Kibaki's first 100 days in office are printed below.

My dear Kenyans exercise patience! Patience!!

You must know that after all Rome was not built in day. Give your new government time to settle down and I know HE the President and his team will not dare disappoint the people of Kenya. We in Ghana were in your shoe however, with time and patience we are proud of the Positive Change we yearned for two years ago. Keep praying for your President, Mr Kibaki, and his team.
Pius Kaba Affipunguh, Ghana

I believe that the Narc Government is going to succeed in reviving the collapsed economy under the Moi regime. The history of unimaginable corruption in Kenya is being dealt with.

This is necessary to bring credibility to both the public and private sectors in order to gain donors confidence. So far, I think that Kibaki is doing well in many respects.

For example, police intimidation of commercial drivers has reduced in a matter of months.

However, let me add that Kenyans will have to learn to distinguish between campaign promises intended to win votes and what the country is able to do for her citizens under the given circumstances.
Kehleboe Gongloe/ Election Observer in Kenya, Liberian in the USA

Why are people running their mouth over a president that has been in the office just 100 days. However, they didn't say anything about the former president of Kenya who killed the economy for over 20 years. IT TAKES A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME TO DESTROY, BUT LONGER TO BUILD.
Biniyam Eyasu, ERITREA/USA

Kibaki and Narc promised reforms. Their efforts have been feeble. They are taking the same approach Moi and KANU took: an almost autocratic and totalitarian way of governance.

The will for change is there in the people and the leadership, but the methodology is suspect and out-dated. No wonder President Kibaki and his administration falls back on people that were Kanu stalwarts for many years under whose very watch corruption became a monster.

Jakamser Jakodondi, Kenya

You don't start building a house from the top you have to lay the foundations first. Bravo. Everybody needs and wants change and Kibaki knows the whole game. He is slowly but surely attacking with change where needs be in terms of priorities.
C. Mwangi, US

Give him a break. 100 days is such a short time to start to talk about the way he should rule. Guys, it took 24 years to have a change in your country through democratic means. Long live Mwai Kibaki.
Henry Nabuggwamu, USA/UGANDA

No government can be run by rag tag appointees and retirees who've been plucked from home to deliver miracles! It can't work. Some of these people appointed by the president were the same who run the Kanu government down.

It's a disappointment that Kibaki doesn't seem to realise that Kenyans want a breath of fresh air.

He must roll his sleeves and work just like any Kenyan as well.
Ken Anang'a, UK

Giving MPs new cars is not going to make any change to the infrastructure of the country. These luxurious items should be awarded in form of appraisals.
Shah P, Kenya/UK

The government is actually trying to deliver their election pledges but all this will be piecemeal without a new constitution. The current crop of ministers are the same ones who were clamouring for a new constitution when they were in the opposition.

What is one to deduce if they have had a change of heart and now feel that the current constitution is suddenly fine?

Their main priority should be a new constitution and job creation that will lay the groundwork for a just and corrupt free Kenya where all are accorded the same opportunities, irrespective of their tribe and gender which after all is what every patriotic Kenyan wants.
Wycliff Sekoh, Saudi Arabia

Try as I might; the salary hike and those impossibly big cars and a president no one sees are all I see.

All the same, I do believe in our President Hon Kibaki big time!

Something good is brewing for our beloved country!
Teya , Kenya

Let's face it, you can't fix years of mismanagement in 100 days. You also cannot, for political as well as tactical reasons, fell swoop the whole old guard in one go.

My advice is, watch, wait and see. They will make a huge impact, it will just take time
Parfula Onyango, China

Kenyans have been a very patient people. Mismanagement by Kanu ran deep into every sector and even deeper into the psyche of most Kenyans.

What Narc is painstakingly doing and in quite a successful manner is sanitising Kenyans from the long held beliefs that, political power should always go hand in hand with financial rewards.

Few Kenyans had ever thought of what they could do for Kenya, but always, what Kenya could do for them.
Dr. Nkule Laibuta, Kenya/Slovenia

Lets be fair to these guys. They have done quite a lot so far like stamp out corruption, offered free primary education, revoked illegal land deals and protect forests and the environment among others.

They may not have been perfect but have turned around the direction of the country evident by the Daily Nation opinion poll.

Those complaining are just Kanu hawks who think being in the opposition is opposing every government move. Bravo Kibaki!
Daniel, Cyprus

Hot wheels for Kenyan MPs
27 Mar 03  |  Africa
Kenyan MPs raise their pay
06 Mar 03  |  Africa
Corruption fight boosts Kenya
25 Feb 03  |  Business
Kenyan bank scandal spreads
27 Feb 03  |  Business
Kenya wins World Bank favour
11 Feb 03  |  Business
Country profile: Kenya
05 Mar 03  |  Country profiles
Timeline: Kenya
04 Mar 03  |  Country profiles

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific