In our special presidential aspirants series we feature Muthiora Kariara of The Great Nation (TGN) Party. Muthiora is a former Presidential running mate in the 2017 General elections. Wandabwa Wanyama had a chat with him on various issues including Economy, Agriculture, and why the Jubilee government has failed Kenyans.
Who is Muthiora Kariara
My name is Muthiora Kariara a former presidential running mate, a patriot, a Kenyan who hail from the rural part of Kenya, I was born in Kuria, Isibania.
I did my KCPE exams, I passed and I was called to join the prestigious Mang’u High School. At the time I was to join Mang’u my mom fell ill and the little we had was used for her medication. I was forced to go to Kanga High School.
After Kanga, I joined the University of Nairobi to study Bachelor of Science and Mathematics at Chiromo Campus. I majored in operations research, after which I went out as any other young man could do.
I had a lot of interest in agriculture, I realized that most restaurants in Nairobi had issues with garbage college, I saw an opportunity to convert the same to pigs feed. And that’s one of the most successful businesses I began. I employed several youths.
How did your upbringing shape your political ambitions?
In the year 1992 Kenya was going through a difficult period, it was under a one-party state and human rights activists were agitating for a multi-party system. This was a global phenomenon. African countries were changing how they govern themselves and that bug got up with Kenya.
President Moi faced a threat in a way set to perpetuate divisive politics seeking to solidify his base as the one left by his predecessor. Communities that were not originally from Rift Valley were persecuted. The first time I heard a gunshot was in the 1993 Clash.
The question that kept ringing in my mind was, why people we have known as neighbors would persecute us. We had to move to Kuria.
Unfortunately, the 2007 clashes were…..
This shows that our people never learn from past mistakes. Elections in this country are a trigger, but the underlying issues are never solved by those people we elect and that’s why this year’s elections should be different.
When you talk about the politicians who are jostling for power, you are also going for power.
I have seen the beauty of this nation, I have seen the ugliness of this nation, I have suffered when this nation went down, I know Kenya deserves better, and why I need the power to lead this nation is we need a leader who has the interests of Kenyans at heart and I am the leader, I want to transform peoples life, transom our society. I will grow our economy. I am looking for power to eradicate corruption.
Let’s talk about your political party, as the party leader, what do you stand for?
The Great Nation (TGN) began as a movement that transformed into a political party. We reached out to Kenyans and they supported our ideologies. We shall field candidates from MCA to the Presidency.
As a party, we are considering working with the independent candidates. As a party, we stand for Utu, the humanity between you and me. The sense of being and belonging.
We want a country that is for all of us and not a country that belongs to the rich want a country where everyone will have a sense of belonging.
Why should Kenyans elect you as their commander in Chief?
Kenyans have been taken for a ride since independence. We fought for independence to end poverty, access to proper quality education, we were looking to eliminate disease which we haven’t achieved
Muthiora Kariara is running for presidency to end corruption, broaden the economy a nd create jobs, actualize the dream of quality and accessible healthcare for all Kenyans, and transformable education.
We have had the opportunity to send our sons and daughters to the diaspora, they send cashback to our country, but we lack a framework that this money can be of value to our people
I am running for the presidency that we can create a partnership that will benefit all our people. Kenyans will be assured of my leadership, I will not only lead from the head but the heart,
You have talked about Corruption, if elected president, how will you tackle this?
It’s hard for someone corrupt not to be corrupt or fight corruption, people who have expressed interest to run, they have a questionable reputation or they are facing some allegations or are fighting to clear their name, I don’t belong to that group, I am incorruptible, my friends are not corrupt and we believe in integrity, fairness, honesty, these are the pillars we want to pass to other Kenyans. When we say that the first thing we shall do is to defend, protect and implement the constitution that is what we shall do.
Adherence to the law is a must for all of us. In my government, there will be no corruption. Everyone must respect the law, the other day the DCI Boss George Kinoti was to go to Kamiti but he didn’t go, the president is on record to have ignored court orders. That will not happen in my government. We will be a law-abiding country.
You have talked about building the economy but this is a country that imports toothpick
Building the economy requires prioritized time, something which this regime has failed, we say that we are an agricultural country but how much do we invest in agriculture.
We must ensure capital is available to those who have an idea and are willing to have the job done. Our government has been borrowing heavily locally, but my government will see alternative sources of revenue so that we can leave whatever funds that people need in the financial system for them to borrow.
My government will make agriculture a priority because currently it supports 29 percent of our GDP yet the amount of money the government directs towards agriculture does not reflect that.
My government will invest heavily in Agriculture which will go a long way in reducing rural-urban migration and promoting a business because they will be assured of the market. My government will provide subsidies to all the farmers.
Why Presidency and not any other role like the MCA
When you have a task to do you look at the tools and instruments that will ensure that the work is done. The biggest problem is poverty which is compounded by corruption, If you want the economy to grow so that it can fix all the problems we have, the office that affords you the tools and instruments to fix that is the presidency
Every general elections Kenyans elect new leaders at the MCA, MP, Woman Rep, Senate, and Governor but they are compromised when they join the system because the fish rots from the head.
I am seeking this mandate as a servant leader, to sweep and provide uncompromised leadership.
Speaking to some of your critics they consider you as too soft
Well, they have invested to know who Muthiora Kariara is, I had a starling career in Kenya’s soccer industry, I was the top goalkeeper, and for you to do well as a custodian you must be made of steel, which I was.
I am soft-spoken but not my actions. This job requires one who has resolve which I have.
Looking at the current political landscape in the country, it has been shaped like a two-horse race, where are you and your party
We should leave the Horses to the Ngong racecourse and focus on leaders on the terrain because eventually will have candidates, a wide variety which Kenyans can choose from. I am not like those who began to campaign right away after they got the mandate to make this nation great but instead chose to do otherwise, we know that there are people who in the past did not wait for their mandate to be validated by the people but went ahead even to swear themselves in.
I don’t want to be counted amongst them but examine me by my merit. I am the solution that Kenyans need.
In your assessment, what ails Kenya, which solutions will you offer once elected
The biggest problem in Kenya is our constitution is not treated as a supreme law but oftentimes as a suggestion, adherence to the law to some people is not a principle they believe in, If we make corruption costly to engage in if we empowered our judiciary to do its job and do it fast enough, I think we will set this country up for success.
We need to be law-abiding citizens, we need to know that there’s a generation that will come after us and will question our choices. The August 9th Election is giving Kenyans a chance to make the right decision. I hope Kenyans will not let the handouts given out by politicians influence our decisions.
BBI and Resource allocation has been at the center of our politics, where do you stand because I believe this debate is here to stay
I am on record as having opposed the BBI, I feel like the constitution we have is not fully implemented and I feel like we need to implement It before we start to alter it.
We must recall that there are marginalized areas that were left behind. That said, we cannot deny those that progressed to get more given an opportunity I can guarantee Kenyans that we will not continue with the BBI debate but rather we would look to implement our constitution to the latter.
The areas that need attention are those that need to create a cohesive nation, those who do not need us to amend our constitution but to implement it with utmost good faith.
Has this government delivered on its promises?
The jubilee government has been let down when they came in, our debt was at 1.78 Trillion by the time they leave our collective debt will be almost Ksh 10 Trillion. This money has not empowered the common man in Kenya. Jubilee’s government has impoverished many Kenyans in such a short time.
Our government is broke, if elected president how are you going to ensure economic growth
Kenya is a rich country but, it’s true we are battling the weight of this mass debt that has been imposed on us by the Jubilee government. But if we prioritize and inject money which KRA has shown we can get, we can keep our economy afloat.
Kenyan people are resilient, they are hardworking, they are hopeful, what has lacked has been an inspiration in the right direction which we are going to provide.
We still have room, we still have potential, which is need to be prioritized right.
Jubilee government has been criticized for borrowing heavily and some of these debts are mature, they need to be repaid, how will you go about this.
Concessions are how governments relate as a sovereign state we know, we would have the opportunity to renegotiate the most expensive obsessive are from China and China has invested heavily in Kenya are interested in Kenya doing well.
Instead of borrowing commercial loans that the Jubilee government has been borrowing we can explore cheaper loans from IMF to sustain our budget but encourage more Kenyans to pay taxes as they should. Remember in our manifesto we talked about cutting taxes. This can be possible if we have a wider tax base.
Let’s talk about tax in the country, Kenyans are heavily taxed, it’s almost like a burden especially to the low-income earners, How will you insulate them against this.
The truth is Kenyans don’t get value for the money they pay, they have seen their taxes being looted, they have seen their money being misused, they have seen their boney being stashed away in offshore accounts.
Our government will commit to end corruption, will encourage Kenyans to build their own country because we will deliver services like never seen before.
I have said that we are keen on cutting taxes, if we stop the stealing, Kenyans will have more faith and will pay their taxes.
Corruption is everyday language, According to President Kenyatta we lose at least 2 billion Kenya Shillings Every Day
President Uhuru is in that office to protect. He has not done enough to end the theft. President Uhuru has feared exercising these powers to sack corrupt individuals from his government. When you hire be ready to fire those who are not competent or ethical
How will you tackle unemployment in Kenya?
Creating employment in Kenya will require all of us to search ourselves diligently I have said that given an opportunity we will cut on taxes, and this will make Kenya attractive to foreign investors.
It will make investment possible and for those who have taken their money elsewhere, agriculture is the backbone of our economy, I have outlined as a government we are going to put into place serious measures to ensure that whatever funds set aside for agriculture do what they are supposed to do.
My government will invest in agriculture which will in turn drive manufacturing, agriculture will help create those jobs that Kenyans need.
I have seen what technology has done for countries that chose to e great and I know the adoption of modern-day farming techniques will help to make agriculture appealing to the youth and even those whose agriculture was starting to look unproductive.
We shall partner with the diaspora and guarantee that whatever opportunities are out there that Kenyan diaspora can reroute back here come to us.
My government will provide all the necessary support to all Small and Micro Economic businesses in Kenya as a go-to place to provide employment opportunities.
Your last word
I would like to urge Kenyans to desist from insulting things among us the culture of commodifying aspirants and politicians so that when you you see a solution either to your temporary or permanent problem
Politicians are supposed to help us synergize together we get a solution to our problem. The hand out we demand out of them dehumanizes who they are, eventually, when they get an opportunity in the office they start by recouping that which they spend to make their way into the offices treat them as brothers and sisters because that way we shall be able to hold them accountable when eventually they ascent into office.
I am against the culture of giving bribes and handouts, this is the only way to end corruption in our country.