This year Kenyans will have to fight a series of battles that will ultimately determine their political, economic and health fate.
Obviously, the ever-mutating coronavirus is one of the enemies Kenyans face as they attempt to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta.
In addition, there is the weak economy and the transition to a new education system against the background of academic lack of discipline and fires.
Political competition has already begun, with deputy William Ruto and ODM leader Raila Odinga battling it out in the field for control of approximately 22 million registered voters.
At the same time, each of the 1,450 counties in 47 counties is being turned upside down by a multitude of aspirants seeking MCA seats.
The districts become battlefields as the candidates battle it out to win 22 seats vacated by the second-term governors.
That and the competition for more than 1,800 elective places expand the scope of the competition.
The parliamentary elections also come at a time when the country and the world are battling the ever-mutating coronavirus.
The number of infections has increased and by the end of 2021 the number of positive cases was 2,791, an increase of 34 percent, a marked change from December 1, when there were only 76 cases.
In the first half of last year, the positivity rate fell to an average of 10 percent.
The Omicron variant outbreak in mid-December pushed Kenya into range of 80 other countries where cases of the new strain have occurred.
Kenya had registered 295,000 Covid-19 infections with 5,378 deaths and has so far given 10 million vaccine doses, has started to give booster vaccinations and aims to vaccinate adolescents under the age of 18.
The numbers began to rise as Kenyans began to gain a foothold economically.
One of the greatest challenges for the government will be to ensure steady economic growth, with history from previous election periods showing significant foreign direct investment (FDI) influence.
Additionally, most local business people keep their money for fear of volatility related to political violence.
Kenya had $ 7.7 trillion in debt by June 2021, according to the Central Bank of Kenya.
By July 2021 the government should begin repaying loans worth 1.023 trillion shillings. begin, a jump from 400 billion shillings that taxpayers had paid in debt four years ago.
That meant the country had to repay an average of Sh2.8 billion a day to beat demand.
However, by December, the Treasury was behind on repayments and the trend is set to continue this year.
According to Ukur Yatani, cabinet secretary of the National Finance and Planning Cabinet, growth rose 9.9 percent in the third quarter of 2021 as a result of the recovery in most economic activity and Kenya’s real GDP as a result of easing measures to contain Covid-19.
In a statement released yesterday, Yatani said it followed an earlier impressive performance of 10.1 percent of real GDP growth in 2021.
“Real GDP growth of 9.9 percent is evidence that the economy is recovering from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and that government interventions are working for the benefit of our people,” he said.
“I thank the Kenyans for their hard work and resilience.”
But if Yatani’s testimony can be presumed, 2022 will likely be slowed down by fears surrounding the August 9 general election.
The Independent Electoral and Borders Commission (IEBC) must conduct a free, fair and credible survey to build trust and stave off potential violence through electoral disputes.
The IEBC will hold elections to 1,882 electoral offices, including those of President, 47 governors, 47 senators, 47 women representatives, 290 parliamentary seats, and 1,450 county assembly positions.
The seats of the President and the 22 governors will have to be filled at the end of their two terms.
Another major hurdle will be the education sector, where the Ministry of Education will examine millions of learners in five crucial tests in order to regulate the educational calendar disrupted by Covid-19.
Both the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) are offered twice in March and December.
The pioneer class of the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) will also take exams for the transition to lower secondary level.
The Ministry of Education aims to return to the January-November educational calendar by 2023 and will therefore allow students to attend the KCPE in March and December.
In particular, with the introduction of CBC, students in grades 4 and 6 will also take their exams before they switch to primary level II or upper secondary level.