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Here’s a glimpse of events, persons likely to shape the year 2019 : The Standard



African Cup of Nations: Harambee Stars are back onto the continental showpiece after a 15-year hiatus. Although sports officials have a history of messing up even the best of things, this will be a window through which young players can showcase their talent to the world.
Boda bodas: Since Kenyans started preferring this mode of transport to all others, there has never been any serious attempts to regulate an industry that has offered employment to thousands of youths around the country. 2019 should be the year that this changes and boda bodas, just like any other industries, are humanely compelled to abide by the laws of the nation.

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Census: Preparations for the census will be in top gear next year. It remains to be seen whether the results will be released this time round. We have had more than 10 years to prepare. There should be no grey areas in an exercise that will gobble up a considerable amount of taxpayers’ money.
Decisions: As the year opens up, the Kenyan courts will be faced with a myriad of decisions that will shape the future of many individuals. Of these are politicians facing appeals and judgements on the validity of their elections. Decisions on major ongoing corruption cases will also be made this year.
Economy. Burdened by crippling debt and a shrinking jobs industry, Kenyans should be on the lookout for whatever curveballs the economy will throw their way. The numbers are grave and the recovery might be on the mend until 2020.
Foreign Debt: After burdening taxpayers with what is increasingly looking like bad decisions from government, the country is now sagging under incredible amounts of foreign debt. And things might get worse with a government hell bent in floating another Eurobond to get money to pay off debts whose repayment plans start in 2019.
Graft: The war on graft should be sustained even as one of the noisiest, messiest years that has seen a purge on corruption comes to an end. Although shaken, the corrupt within our fabric will not slow down in their gluttony of public funds. Anti-graft bodies should remain diligent and steadfast in their continued war.

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Housing: President Uhuru Kenyatta’s new pet project, providing affordable housing to at least 500,000 families over the next four years is set to become a reality. Barring any major corruption scandals and with proper supervision, this project has the potential to change the lives of millions of people around the country.
Infighting: The scandals within government this past year have resulted in the self-cannibalisation of the state. With stakes so high, ministerial departments are embroiled in supremacy wars that only result in the suffering of the common man. The turf wars between the different police arms will go on into 2019. So will the sibling rivalries between agencies such as EACC, the DCI and the NIS over the investigation and trial of corruption. We might be in for a hell of a ride.
Judiciary: After surviving the hyped revisiting, the Judiciary will still be in the limelight in 2019. Fingered as one of the biggest stumbling blocks to the war on corruption, 2019 might be a defining year for the Chief Justice’s men and women.
Kabila: This will be the first time that Democratic Republic Of Congo President with be out of power in close to 20 years. With the just concluded elections, transitioning from his presidency to a new one after a two-year delay will determine the future of one of the world’s richest nations.

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Legislators: The stage is set for yet another assault on public coffers by legislators. After passing a raft of legislation increasing their allowances, this year might see another ctrl+v on their entitlements. This too will happen to Members of County Assembly whose rivalries with governors in counties such as Kitui and Homa Bay are set to continue.
Manufacturing: Manufacturing has taken a beating in 2018. With high taxes, high energy costs and whole industries in agriculture and other sectors shutting down, it will take a revolution to revamp a sector that was once the bedrock of the economy but has now become a painful memory to many.
New Currency. The mass rollout of the new currency is expected to take place in 2019. Will old money with the faces of all our past presidents become collector’s items or will they just be a nostalgic reminder to past years when there seemed to be a great value to the Kenyan Shilling?
Opposition: The fate of the Kenyan opposition hangs precariously on the balance following the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga. With just three years to the next election, pretenders to the throne will have a very short time to pick themselves up and walk out of the shade cast by the larger than life figure of Odinga, who has been an opposition man for most of his political life.

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Prosecutions: Kenyans will be waiting with bated breath to see the direction that the tens of corruption cases before the courts will take. The Director of Public Prosecutions has managed to box himself in a corner and his only way out will be the successful and fair prosecution of corruption.
Quality: 2018 is a year that the various quality control bodies of the country would want to forget. The Kenya Bureau of Standards passed poisonous sugar and maize as edible commodities onto the taxpayers. The National Construction Authority approved buildings that were not safe for habitation by any form of life. The National Environment Management Authority realised too late that its officers had approved buildings to be put up on wetlands. These agencies and many more need to up their game in the new year.
Referendum: The debate to amend the laws of the country will most likely shape the politics of 2019. With both opposition leader Raila and President Kenyatta seemingly reading from the same script, it looks like a matter of when and not if the referendum will happen. Only the oracles know whether the two have the best interest of the country at heart or have just discovered another way to curve up the country for themselves.
Security: Kenyans are looking forward to a more secure future. A future in which young men from the informal settlements would not be gunned down on the whims of erratic police officers. A future in which daughters will be spared abuse from the men in their society. A future where we will be able to feed ourselves without turning to handouts.
Teen Pregnancies: The close of the year was rife with troubling statistics on teenage sex among the country’s underage.  Although it might be politically correct to blame boda boda riders and errant for these numbers, parents need to have conversations about sex with their children. Burying our heads in the sand and blaming the amorphous ‘immorality’ will not correct this.
Universal Health Care System: Another of the president’s pet project. Piloted in just four of the 47 counties, the Universal Health Coverage has the power to change the lives of the citizens of this great country. 2019 will be the year all the theoretical approaches by Afya House technocrats will be put to the test. Kenyans should expect nothing but success from UHC, we pay taxes through our noses, it is only fair that we get dignified healthcare.
Vote: Depending on the outcomes of election petitions, a section of Kenyans might find themselves braving long lines to once again vote for their preferred candidates in various positions. Some governors, senators and MPs might find their election nullified.
Women: The gender debate will once again take centre stage with the Two Thirds Gender Bill failing to get a vote in Parliament on two separate occasions and in successive years. If Parliament fails to pass it towards the middle of the year it risks disbandment by a Chief Justice who remains unafraid in implementing the law. He has already annulled a presidential election.
Xe extrajudicial Killings: Hundreds of young men and women were felled in controversial circumstances last year by the police. The unwavering resolve of the boys in blue even after massive protests by human rights organisations shows that things might not be better next year for the youth. The guns will not be put away.
Yes Men: With a thawing of relations between Uhuru and Raila as well as the drawing closer of another election, the political scene might see the return of ‘yes men’ eager to impress their party bosses and not miss a bit to the tune of the party leaders. At stake for some will be re-election bids while others will be dancing to party tunes expecting to be rewarded once power sharing piñata is broken.
Zebra: Could we please save the Grévy’s Zebra in 2019? Habitat loss in an already restricted range is a serious threat to the Grévy’s survival. They have to compete for resources with other grazers, as well as livestock. Over the past three decades there has been a population reduction of 54 per cent from an estimated population of 5,800, to just over 2,000.

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