Raila Odinga has defended the Ksh.6,000 monthly social protection programme he promises to implement if elected President in the upcoming August General Election.
The Azimio la Umoja presidential candidate dismissed the perception that the programme is unrealistic, insisting that it would address the challenges facing those living below the poverty line.
Speaking in a media interview on Tuesday, Raila explained the agenda is not a pilot programme in Kenya, saying it has been implemented across the world and even in Africa.
“We are talking about social protection programme which is not only being introduced in this country but is also implemented in other countries in the world, most European Countries like the UK, Brazil and United States,” he said.
Social protection programme is a Kenyan idea
He further revealed that a Kenyan working in Namibia where the same is implemented had helped the Azimio outfit on its formulation.
“On this continent, it is in Egypt and in Namibia. A Kenyan who helped design the Namibian programme is the one who has actually worked with our experts here,” he noted.
On the specifics of who qualifies for the stipend, the former premier clarified that the program was meant for any family leaving below the poverty line, highlighting that there are about two million Kenyans targeted in the programme.
“A number of Kenyans who live below the poverty line. These figures are taken from the Kenya National Bureau of Statics (KNBS) and they have already been profiled. About 2 million families; a family of about four people per family, totalling about 8 million people,” he remarked.
“That equates to Ksh.12, billion per month and to Ksh 144 billion per year,” Raila added.
While referring to President Kenyatta’s past remark that Ksh.2 billion was lost in corruption per day, Raila said his administration would ensure the loopholes are sealed to raise the funds.
“The budget consists of income and expenditure, you are under-collecting and overspending. If you lock the corruption, you can have a saving of about Ksh.500 billion, and we are talking about only Ksh.144 billion,” he explained.
Programme not new
He similarly cited his tenure as prime minister and exuded confidence that he was well able to implement the agenda as promised in his manifesto.
On why he settled on the Ksh.6,000 figure and not any other amount, Raila said: “It will bring people to what we call more than a dollar a day per day and they will be able to live like other people. In the rural areas, the rural economy will be stimulated.”
He similarly dismissed assertions which have been linking the programme with the Inua Jamii initiative saying his social protection agenda focuses on the people who are poor and not the groups in the Inua Jamii initiative.
“If you look at the records, I am the one who launched the Inua Jamii programme in Mombasa when I was then prime minister to help the elderly people and the people with disabilities,” he said.
He added: “This is over and above the Jamii programme as it targets those specific families who have been profiled by the National Bureau of Statistics.”