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Manifestos Key In Laying The Next Government Agenda And Priorities



Promises given to the public during elections should be well thought out. The public should clearly understand the roles of the President, Governors, senators, MPs, MCAs and how they all differ so that they are able to internalise the promises shared to them and not just speaking of the usual, vague promises.

We all need to understand the role of the Senator in your county is not to give you a job, but to hold the county and its administration accountable to the work that it has promised or it promises to do, which means aspirants should also understand what they are vying for and what is involved. This will set them apart from the “usual leaders” of Nitawapatia kazi, nitawajengea mashule and all that.

Comprehensively internalising will ensure that we are also not voting based on a party, or how famous the party, or as we put it “voting 6 piece” Understanding the hierarchy and how they feed to each other is important. Every election year, the public is always disappointed by the leaders they chose as they take stock of the 5 years. Do we ever ask ourselves what is the contribution I had to this failed government? Did we hold anyone to account of how resources have been used? Did we analyse manifestos and critically think how they will benefit the country?

Even though manifesto’s are not legally binding yet, Manifestos can largely inform the next administration’s agenda and priorities, and if the public is able to critically analyse the manifestos and rule out the not well-thought out manifestos, we will be able to get in a good government that will work for the people.

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We are tired with seeing vague manifestos in aspirants posters, banners which clearly go to mean that the aspirants do not understand the “seats” they are going for. Why should it be always about short-tem solutions on problems such as Water, schools, Jobs.

Can we think long-term for once, how do we introduce laws, bill and policies that will institutionalise some of these promises, for example; ensuring local enterprises not required to start up with about 10 licenses and permits which in turn make it hard to open, maintain and operate a business – this of course is win to ensure young people who are the majority in Kenya are able to create employment for others and themselves.

When it comes to hospitals, we should not be building more hospitals! We need to invest in campaigns and preventative strategies that will definitely reduce the burden we are taking to the hospitals all in the name of curative services and medicine. We largely learnt this during the pandemic that when you develop campaigns on hygiene, hand-washing amongst other things that ensure general health, safety and well-being of the public.

Manifestos and parties should ensure they remain diverse and inclusive in terms of the issues they are addressing as well as people that they are targeting. A manifesto that is directly or indirectly discriminating a section of the community should be ruled-out. We need to plan, develop and introduce projects that will meet all people’s needs despite, age, sex, sexuality, color, race, ethnic background, social class among other factors.

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Vague and the “usual” manifestos don’t work for me. I want see a manifesto that includes issues which have been left behind for the longest time now, clear and straight to the point manifesto, for instance how do we move from short-term solutions to long term solutions, how do we use laws, policies and bills to ensure our solutions remain long term, how do we resource mobilize more, how do we promote inter-county collaboration? How do we address issues of access, enjoyment of human rights for all? How do we work together for the good of our nation? How do we critically analyse and provide solutions to our people?

Do not vote based on a party popularity or because you like orange as opposed to green or yellow. Do not vote 6 Piece. Mix those colors up, Vote Rainbow color. Understand the manifesto, the parties vision and what is in it for you a person, for your constituent, county and country!


Alvin Mwangi

Youth Activist

Nairobi, Kenya

Twitter: @alvinmwangi254

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