Vision 2030 was a boardroom document that did not involve broad consultation, especially with people outside the business sector. Four years after it was launched, Kenyans ratified a new constitution through a popular referendum. That Constitution should have overtaken Vision 2030 as the guiding document for Kenya's freedom and socio-economic growth. Instead, Vision 2030 remained in the drivers' seat, and seven years into the new dispensation, we have ended up with a list of sorrows.
Vision 2030 is committed to only primary healthcare, which, it seems to hope to achieve through donor-funded programs, rather than universal healthcare through our resources. As a result, the government has made agreements with local and foreign businesses to to offer the more expensive treatment for non-communicable diseases, and in so doing, and to withdraw funding to employ more medical staff and specialists in public hospitals. The resulting decay of public hospitals resulted in a lengthy doctors' strike and an an ongoing nurses strike. Immediately after the #LipaKamaTender ended, foreign governments sponsored health privatization conference in Kisii County, and worst of all, the government held a health tourism conference at a posh hotel under the banner of Vision 2030. Even now, with the doctors' CBA signed and the fate of nurses unknown, Jubilee is promising to go ahead with health tourism, yet health tourism is an abomination that promises healthcare as a luxury for mainly foreigners.
Vision 2030 does not mention medical staff, besides district medical officers. It therefore has no plans for non-communicable diseases or specialized medical personnel.
Not surprisingly, Vision 2030 aims to increase enrollment in STEM courses as well as the involvement in private sector in education. It is not clear how private sector is to be involved, and if the experience of the health sector is anything to go by, we should be very worried.
Of course, the overhaul of the primary and secondary school curriculum is mentioned, but as we have recently seen, the overhaul is extremely flawed. In the spirit of alienating Kenyans from changes that affect them, the overhaul has been led by the British Council, while the poor have been exposed to by foreign cheap education companies.
At the end of the Basic Education Curriculum Framework, the document that guides the replacement of the current education system, there is a table that the ministry calls Rational (they misspelt "rationale) for learners in different pathways at senior school. The table has percentages of how many schools should offer which curriculum "pathway," based on the Vision 2030 projections. Of course, MoE doesn't say how it arrived at the percentages. But it says that 30% of Kenyans should be in agriculture, 1.7% in health (the arts doesn't even appear in the table). One is forced to concluded that pathway which MoE says is for "recognizing talent" is actually for creating quotas for schools and keeping kids out of university. Kenyan children will not choose a career. The government will choose the child's career by deciding which subjects the child's school will offer and how many can progress to the next level.
Decisions about human beings, especially our children, should not be so blatantly decided by the government without consultation with the parents, at the very least. And education is too important for it to be decided on by business sector alone. This is a nation. There are more people in this country than are in business.
Land, Environment and Energy
Vision 2030 does not address land injustice. Instead, it intends to leave individual and corporate ownership of land intact, and makes no mention of what happens when there is clear grabbing of land. With land being at the core of social tension and conflict, we cannot have businesses dictating how we shall make decisions on land.
For the people of Lamu, the Vision 2030 projects have brought extreme grief. The government is now planning to construct an environmentally disastrous coal plant based on imported coal. In addition, the project has not involved consultation with the local communities as is required by the constitution.
Justice, Dignity and Sovereignty
Vision 2030 does not follow the values of the new constitution, especially on the sovereignty of the people, on human dignity, equality and protection of the marginalized. Instead, it promotes the ideology (its word, not mine) of the business class, insisting that "Kenyans shall adopt...a political ideology supportive of Vision 2030....it will also affirm the indivisibility of Kenya as a nation and her commitment to the rule of law."
"Rule of law," especially in the absence of a commitment justice, is a very suspicious statement. It means that the state is more committed to protecting the status quo and property than it is to citizens, which the president reminded us when he promised to revive death sentences for anyone found guilty of sabotaging the railway.
The document does not address the historical injustices, especially around land, the fight against impunity, or the implementation of the Truth, Justice and Reconcialiation Commission Report. That means that Vision 2030 has no plan to end marginalization.
All these problems point to the continued supremacy of a business plan drawn up in the boardroom over a constitution which was negotiated through popular consultation and ratified by a referendum. Mugo Kibati, the former director of the Vison 2030 secretariat, affirmed this anomaly in a discussion of the SGR on CitizenTV, where he said: "Whatever the political positions of the day, business sense will prevail and will take the day."
Kenya is not a business. It is a nation of people who are supreme over any other "development" project. For this reason, we must do away with Vision 2030. We the Kenyan people are the ones who hire our leaders. We cannot be dictated to by our employees' business plan.