The Jubilee Party manifesto: 5 claims fact-checked

President Uhuru Kenyatta is up for re-election in next month’s poll. Do some of the claims made in his party’s new manifesto add up?

Kenya’s ruling Jubilee Party is seeking a second term in a general election on 8 August 2017. To bolster its case, on 26 June it released its manifesto.

Titled ‘Continuing Kenya’s Transformation Together’, the document has a scorecard of what President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration achieved in their first term.

We tested the accuracy of some of the claims made in the manifesto.

Claim

“[We have achieved] a halving in the number of deaths of children under 5 years.”

Verdict

incorrect

The United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals propose that countries should aim to reduce under-five mortality to 25 per 1,000 live births.

Limited availability of high-quality data makes estimating child mortality “a considerable challenge”, according to the UN Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation.

In its most recent global estimates, the group notes that the best source of this data is a well-functioning civil registration system but many developing countries do not have one. As a result, household surveys such as Demographic and Health Surveys (used by more than 90 countries) have become the primary source of data.

Death registration in Kenya is a challenge. Only 45.2% of all deaths were registered in 2015, according to Kenya’s Civil Registration department. In some of Kenya’s 47 counties, only 5% of deaths were registered with authorities.

The UN’s estimates show that there were 49 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2015.

The 2014 Kenya Demographic and Health Survey provides the most recent incountry data, Dr Elizabeth Kimani-Murage, a research scientist and the head of the maternal and child wellbeing unit at the African Population and Health Research Center, told Africa Check.

Kimani-Murage was part of a team of researchers that looked into childhood mortality trends in Kenya.

The last three demographic and health surveys (2003, 2008 and 2014) show that child mortality more than halved in that period, from 115 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2003 to 52 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2014.

2016 data shared with Africa Check by the ministry of health’s vital statistics unit showed that the current mortality rate was 52 per 1,000 live births.  

For under-5 deaths to have halved under Jubilee’s administration the current rate would have to be at about 26 deaths per 1,000 live births.

 

Claim

“In the last four years, we have connected an additional 15,137 public primary schools.”

Verdict

unproven

Connecting public primary schools to the national grid has been a key plank of Kenyatta’s first term which started in April 2013. To preface this claim, the manifesto said that “between 1963 and 2013, only 8,200 public primary schools had been connected to electricity”. (Note: Data from the ministry of energy and the Rural Electrification Authority, the agency charged with implementing the schools plan, showed there were 10,157 public primary schools in June 2013.)

In February 2017, the presidency said of a targeted 23,951, some 22,237 schools now had electricity – an additional 12,080 schools since the electrification plan started in July 2013.

In a state of the nation address in March 2017, Kenyatta said his administration had connected 14,045 schools. In a portal launched in April 2017 to showcase the government’s achievements, the figure used is “15,137 additional public primary schools connected to power in 4 years”.

But in a September 2016 treasury report on the government’s gains in the energy sector, some 18,241 public primary schools are said to have been connected to power since July 2013.

Africa Check unsuccessfully tried to contact the electrification authority to clarify the numbers. We also could not find independent data to corroborate official numbers. In the absence of this we rate this claim as unproven.

 

Claim

“In the last four years, we have increased power generation and added 657 MW to the grid.”

Verdict

exaggerated

Kenya’s installed capacity at the end of June 2013 (the Jubilee administration’s first full financial year begun in July 2013) was 1,765 MW according to the 2013/2014 annual report of the Energy Regulatory Commission. The effective capacity was indicated as 1,653 MW. (Note: Installed capacity refers to the maximum theoretical electric output when operating at 100% while effective capacity is the expected output when operating constraints are factored in.)

The country’s installed capacity in June 2016 was 2,299 MW, according to data from the regulator. A brief from the ministry of energy shared with Africa Check showed it rose to 2,327 MW in January 2017, a slight dip from a high of 2,341 MW due to drought.

In its latest economic survey the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics using figures sourced from national utility company Kenya Power gave provisional figures for 2016 as 2,325 MW in installed capacity and 2,253.9 MW of effective capacity.

Kenya Power spokesman Kevin Sang told Africa Check that the installed capacity including the off-grid systems (those independent of the grid such as in rural areas) was now at 2,333 MW and the effective capacity at 2,254 MW.

While installed capacity has risen in the last 4 years, it has not exceeded 576 MW, or effective capacity surpassed 601 MW.

 

Claim

“We have given priority to clean energy, (geothermal, wind power, solar and hydro), which now accounts for over 75% of the installed capacity compared to the world average of only 24%.”

Verdict

incorrect

The International Energy Agency in its 2015 report on renewable energy said that the world average of installed renewable energy capacity was at 22% in 2013, and is expected to rise to 26% by 2020.

Kenya’s electricity is generated from hydropower, geothermal, wind, thermal (generator) and co-generation. For clean energy, the Energy Regulatory Commission has a portal that also counts biomass and solar power.

The 2017 Economic Survey shows that Kenya’s clean energy mix as 1,496 MW – 818 MW for hydropower, 652 MW for geothermal power and 26 MW for wind. This is 64%, not “over 75%” of the current total installed capacity, which according to Kenya Power is 2,333 MW.

 

Claim

“The ratio of police officer to Kenyan citizen has improved from 1:500 to 1:400 a higher threshold than the UN benchmark of one officer for every 450 citizens.”

Verdict

incorrect

When the party launched its pre-election manifesto in 2013, it said there was one police officer serving 1,150 Kenyans, promising to lower this ratio to 1:800 in its first term. With its new manifesto, it has revised the ratio it inherited to 1:500.

The police to population ratio refers to the number of police officers serving a community, relative to its size. For example, if a community has 1 police officer serving 100 people, the ratio is 1:100.

The UN defines police personnel as “those whose principal functions are the prevention, detection and investigation of crime and the apprehension of alleged offenders”. In its database it thus counts only officers of the Kenya Police Service who are locally known to as the regular police.

Data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics shows there were 42,145 police officers in the service in 2013, against an estimated population of 41.8 million. This translates to a ratio of 1:992.

The economic survey, from which the UN derives its figures, places the number of regular police at 53,844 officers at the end of 2016. Some 5,971 regular police officers (i.e excluding administration officers) graduated in March, bringing the total to 59,815 police officers. The ratio falls to 1:759, and not 1:400 as the Jubilee manifesto refers to.

The claimed ratio is also pegged to an often-cited “UN benchmark of one officer for every 450 citizens”. Africa Check has so far not found proof that the United Nations has ever recommended a ratio of 1:450, or any other number, as a policing guideline. (Note: For more on our research on this number see here.)

Experts Africa Check has spoken to say that given the varying functions, unique operating circumstances and abilities of police officers globally, it is unlikely that the UN would prescribe a “benchmark” ratio.

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