Browsing Tag

Graft

The Telescope

ADDRESS GRAFT,WASTAGE TO SAVE AILING ECONOMY

The runaway graft in Kenya is not news. Politicians and public servants squander public resources with impunity. Besides, they justify their wayward practices without shame.

Those who oppose the vice are threatened or done away with. Those who ‘eat’ are glorified while those who value ethics and integrity are vilified.The annoying reality is that the country is sinking into debt as individuals illegally accumulate wealth.

In the wake of inflation and rising bank interest rates, business and families are bound to operate on shoe-string budgets. Such scenarios, as history shows can erupt into civil restlessness- that can lead to even more wanton waste and destruction. In the long run, the corrupt and straight citizens are affected.

Kenya has been fiscally irresponsible. We have gone on spending and looting sprees, ignoring experts’ advice. For long, the annual deficit has been more than the annual economic growth rate. Consequently, the net debt has exceeded one-third of gross domestic product.

“The anti-graft agency should be given powers to prosecute without fear or favour. It should not be swayed through political manipulation. Once the graft kingpins see action, not rhetoric, they will stop the vice”

Ultimately, we are now paying the price of extravagance. Kenya’s financial status must be told as it is. Announcing populist measures with zero reflective signs only serves to evade the problem.

Though the Vision 2030 has achieved some mileage, the larger dream could be thwarted by poor leadership and self-seeking interests. The country’s economy will be dented and so will other key sectors.

While the middle class might not feel the actual impact of corruption, it will be a different scenario for slum dwellers who survive ‘well’ on minimal resources. The families, under stable heads cross over to the neighbouring leafy suburbs to earn a coin. In the evening or when they are paid, they spend their earnings thriftly.

Kibera Slums

Their patience could be overstretched if they witness their employers living in opulence as they try to stretch their cents.

Nations are no different from individual families. A family with sober leadership will survive through hard times and so will a country with wise leaders.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has the opportunity to save Kenya’s economic-socio-political situation. He should deal with the rogue leaders and public servants who want to take the country to the dogs. He should sack non-performing crooked leaders to save Kenyans from inflation and high bank interest rates.

He should reclaim illegally acquired wealth and enforce values and ethics in institutions. The anti-graft agency should be given powers to prosecute without fear or favour. It should not be swayed through political manipulation.

Once the graft kingpins see action, not rhetoric, they will stop the vice. This country should enforce policies that address wastage and pilferage. We should heed advice to avoid duplication of responsibilities that translates to duplication of payment.

One can now imagine the positive impact our former constitution would have had in the current phase of slowdown in the presence of uncontrolled wastage. Any takers?

This article was published on People Weekend on October 17-18, 2015

The Telescope

LET US DEFEAT GRAFT TO RETAIN FOREIGN INVESTMENT

In the recent past, investors and trade experts have placed great interest in the Kenyan market, leading the country to reap vast economic benefits. But this had not been the case for a long time, given grave corruption scandals , policy uncertainty and the importance of patronage and political connections in the business arena.

However, the government has continually placed emphasis in prioritising reforms and great strides have been taken in their implementation. To date, the actions taken have generated positive opinions in the local and international business community.

The international community also needs more convincing in the country’s rising economic prosperity and whether it’s sustainable in alleviating the level of poverty across the nation. Even while huge capital investment projects that Kenya craves for to sustain growth continue to be injected into the market, there still has been a constant trend of failure to ensure inclusive growth.secretaries

It is not lost on us that the government has either selectively or collectively failed to provide employment for the burgeoning youthful population. And it is these youth who are being radicalised into terror groups.

Then, instead of being part of Kenya’s growth they are acting as a real threat to growth especially when considering the important role of security and stability in, meaningful economic growth.

It is important to note that the government’s national development agenda as articulated in the various policy documents is grounded on alleviating poverty, creating wealth, and improving the welfare of the common person.

“It is not lost on us that the government has either selectively or collectively failed to provide employment for the burgeoning youthful population.”

To achieve this, there is a general need to return to integrity and accountability in the management of public resources, efficient and fair administration of justice, institutionalisation of democratic government, respect for and enforcement of human rights and the development of strong and stable institutions of governance.

On the other hand, increased private investment will require sustained improvement in the investment climate. Currently, the reforms and the recent improvements in economic performance have not altered the perceptions of the Kenyan and international business communities that the business climate requires intensive modifications.youth

Also a broad range of factors that contribute to a poor business and investment climate, including infrastructure, tax rates and administration, corruption, cost of finance, crime, informal business practices, regulatory uncertainty draw to an unbalanced economic environment.

However, this is Kenya’s moment- Africa’s moment and the world is watching. The challenge in implementing a tenable policy roadmap should be one that is addressed quickly and aggressively. Half of Kenya’s population is covered by the youths and each year there are 200,000 more 20-year-olds than the year before.

The only true challenge is in transforming this youth bulge into an opportunity so as to propel this country into its implicit success.