By Alberto Nyakundi Amenya
It has has been a long night in Kenya, really. Nobody believed that our economy would survive up until now, what with the endless hemorrhaging this economy has witnessed in the last fifty something years. I have always said that there is something special about our economy. Despite the monumental looting of public funds, this economy is still surviving by the grace of God. Remarkably, Zimbabweâ€™s President Robert Mugabe was recently heard warning his civil servants against emulating Kenya. We have become so corrupt until notoriously corrupt countries like Zimbabwe are marveled at us and even using us as a case study to solve their problems.
The Goddamn state in which our economy is headed into, even Aliko Dangote and his Naira may not be able to jumpstart it. The best pointer of a failed economy is joblessness. Unemployment rate in Kenya (especially among the youth) is 60-70 per cent and not 35-40 as we are made to believe by authorities. No wonder most people, including those that are supposed to employers are seeking political appointments at County or national level.
Like I always say, it takes less than a minute in a computer to know President Obamaâ€™s salary while here in Kenya, even discussing is a crime. Perpetrators of corruption â€“ most of them lawmakers, have cleverly enacted laws and created weak institutions that are always in conflict with Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC) in all facets of life.
A hidden damage already done to Kenya confirms that nobody aims to engage in productive activities any longer. Not even the unemployed desire to engage in honest work for honest wage any more. A young man in Kenya will prefer being a politicianâ€™s attack dog in the city for good pay, rather than being a small scale farmer somewhere in the village.
In order to get quick cash, the jobless youth have taken it to drug peddling, terrorism, armed robbery, and other heinous crimes. Only God knows what can be done to clear the weave of deceit and untangle the chords of confusion that have webbed our nation over the decades.
Appallingly, our public â€œservantsâ€ consume 69 per cent of the nationâ€™s revenue but the truth of the matter remains, they are useless. Year on year, the obvious sing-song by our politicians has been about cutting public expenditure by retiring junior civil servants. But the big question remains, â€œWhy havenâ€™t they found courage to touch the giantlike pay enjoyed by useless politicians that contribute absolutely nothing to our nationâ€™s development?â€
The price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) commonly known as petrol will keep shooting even if the international price gets as low as $40 per barrel. Besides, the oil conspirators who manipulate oil prices will never go to sleep. Motorists will continue digging deep in fuel pumps as public service commuters pay hiked fares.
If things go on like this, I expect life to get harder for Kenyans. Civil servants will be owed salaries for months.
I pity poor Kenyans with no money or access to farmlands especially during this rainy season. The city poor should consider relocating to their ancestral villages. Villagers live more happily compared to poor city dwellers. Unemployment hits city dwellers in Nairobi harder, the same way poor electricity supply affects them seriously.
Only in Kenya where you can hear billions mentioned in radio and televisions yet you never see what they do. I have heard and read in newspapers that Kisii County â€“ my home County â€“ has in the past 3 years, received more than Ksh.15b yet the condition in the County exacerbates by the day.
Only in Kenya where legislators receive one point something million shillings a month for doing nothing other than shouting â€œayeâ€ and â€œnayâ€ three days a week; the money an average Kenyan cannot get even if he works for 100 years. Our political officeholders should earn stipend salaries as opposed to the gigantic pay they receive.
Only in Kenya where a parliamentary seat costs Ksh.1m while poor Kenyans are dying of hunger somewhere in Turkana.
What Kenya needs are sincere people, not sincere looters, it needs workers, not loafers. We need action, not gospel.
There would be only one way of rescuing the Kenyan economy at this heartrending time: seizing the proceeds of corruption and other crimes. Were I President Kenyatta, I would ask my arrowhead Aden Duale to sponsor a bill in the National Assembly that would seek the forfeiture for all properties whose sources their owners canâ€™t explain.
Were I the President of Kenya, I would freeze the accounts and assets of overnight billionaires until each of them shows Kenyans the TREE in his compound that GROWS dollar or Ksh. Shilling notes.
In Kenya, our civil service is grossly unproductive and needs to be changed. Useless institutions have mushroomed hence retarding institutional progress. Both incoming and outgoing officeholders have lamented the rise of recurrent expenditures. What to do? Everything left for me to decide, the jumbo amounts received by lawmakers (for sleeping and farting all day in parliament) would be the first to be eliminated for good.
The Author is The Incoming MP, Kitutu Chache North Constituency