Former British Prime Minister Blair, Strikes A Deal For Key Jubilee Projects

Would this be a disaster or a blessing to the taxpayers? Just recently, president Uhuru Kenyatta struck a deal most likely to cost Kenyan taxpayers millions of shillings with the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The terms of the said contract requires Blair to be responsible for the Jubilee administration’s flagship projects.

The contract that was signed last month will require Mr Blair’s African Governance Initiative (AGI) second technocrats to the newly formed President’s Delivery Unit (PDU) to accelerate the implementation of the key projects. The list of the key projects include Konza Techno City, Lamu Port South Sudan and Ethiopia Transport corridor (Lapsset) and media monitoring, especially the coverage of Cabinet secretaries.

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The deal between the PDU and the technocrats happens very soon after another agreement between the government of Kenya and an US firm to improve Kenya’s interests and advance its image in the West. meanwhile, the second contract between the influential US firm Podesta Group and ministry of foreign affairs took effect on February 3. Based on the contract, the company will receive $30,000 (Sh2.7 million) a month every month  with other expenses such as business-class travel and accommodation from the state. And the deal intends to run up to March, but can be renewed for one year. However, nobody can say for sure the exact amount of the contract between Mr Blair and Kenyatta as both African Governance Initiative and Mr Kenyatta’s office resorted to shutting their lips on the cost of the deal. Rather, a spokesman of the Former Prime minister of British’s firm only revealed  that the contract would not cost Kenyan government any dime. Possible?

In the words of the spokesman named Jonathan Tanner, “AGI is pleased to be working with the Government of Kenya. We are a registered charity that does not make a profit. There is no cost for our work,”

On the contrary, President Kenyatta’s spokesperson Manoah Esipisu declined to make any comment yet saying he would only dish a response on the matter “at an appropriate time”.

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Based on the comment given by highly placed sources in the Kenyatta administration, the Kenyan government would pay Mr Blair a one-off amount that might amount to hundreds of millions of shillings which will not only cover for the deal, but also for the allowances, accommodation and travel costs of the team and that of technocrats.

In the words of one of the sources “The government will pay Mr Blair a lump sum amount, I do not have exact figures, but it is as big as the budget of one of the major parastatals.

“It takes care of the salaries and allowances of the advisers, as well as their accommodation and travel,”

But, Mr Esipisu had, in an earlier interview, mentioned that the government would not pay any money at all.

According to Mr Esipisu “Mr Blair is not advising the government. It is a partnership between the Africa Governance Initiative and the Presidential Delivery Unit. We are not paying anything. Instead we are getting more in return,”

“The initiative has helped quite a lot of African governments. Certainly, it is not a peasant organisation. It is well-funded and they are partnering with the delivery unity at no cost to the Kenyan taxpayer,” he was quoted as saying.

As we already know that President Kenyatta was the person to announced the partnership when he hosted Mr Blair in Nairobi last month. “The President’s Delivery Unit will be the instrument that helps to ensure that programmes and projects initiated are completed.

“The unit would help the government prioritize and translate our promises and policies into practical and achievable objectives,” said the President during the meeting.

“The President’s Delivery Unit is meant to take the promises that the Presidency has made and convert them into action plans, which can be achieved within a promised deadline. I found the unit instrumental to me in ensuring that I kept focused and delivered tangible results,” said Mr Blair.

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According to a bulletin from the Presidential Strategic Communication Unit  “The unit borrows from a model set up by Rtd Hon Tony Blair during his tenure as prime minister of the United Kingdom. Kenya’s PDU currently earns technical capacity support from Tony Blair’s initiative.”

“The unit has developed a web-based tracking tool to drive transparency around progress made towards completion of key projects.  The intranet tool is accessible to the President at the click of a button, and he is personally able to review progress on set targets.  The team would regularly give independent reports to the President on the status of identified flagship projects,’ stated the bulletin.

More importantly, the unit is located at the Kenyatta International Convention Center and the head of the unit is Dr Steve Ndele.

Also, a spokesman for AGI was mentioned by Telegraph stating that  he was in several talks to put advisers in the unit. State priorities

In the words of the spokesman “AGI is in the early stages of providing support to a Presidential Delivery Unit,”

“We will be working shoulder to shoulder with Kenyan public servants on the government’s priorities for improving the lives of ordinary people,” he added.

Additionally, on its official website, the AGI’s says “We work in countries only at the request of their governments. And we support them to deliver their own priorities rather than telling them what those priorities should be. We help make Presidents’ offices work so they can lead effectively,”

Anyway, it had better be a charity work as stated by the AGI spokesman. On the contrary, if it is worth millions of shillings indeed am sue it is going to border on taxpayers. Of course we do know that there might be huge benefits from the said deal but could we possibly walk over hot coals suspended over a deep pit to receive them? Tell Us What You Think In The Comment Section Below: