Thirteen Years after MOI-KANU Kleptocracy demise, itâ€™s rebirth unfolding
By N Wainaina
By any measure, Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta is turning out to be a kleptocrat at early stage of evolution. He is systematically building a kleptocracy regime where the state is increasingly being controlled and run for the benefit of an individual or a small group, who use state power for predatory and access to resources/wealth.
Kenya is starting to suffer the first signs of the personal rule of kleptocrat such as implementation of highly inefficient economic policies, expropriating of the wealth of the country s, and using the proceeds for kleptocracy own glorification or consumption.
Kenya being a weakly institutionalized country, a progressive Constitution may not be able to deter kleptocratic regime unless there s stronger citizensâ€™ movement challenging the kleptocracy tendencies.
Mr. Kenyatta is partially succeeding in his mission of creating kleptocracy because Kenya is weakly institutionalized country (weakness of institutions), tactful ability to use a divide-and-rule strategy, political representatives are shortsighted and rent seeking, and the average productivity in the economy is low
Kenyans need to act swiftly in order to deter this new kleptocrat.
Kleptocratic policies are emerging because of huge unmitigated foreign money( loans borrowing), corruption cartels that provide substantial resources to buy off or fight opponents, opposition groups are shortsighted, the average productivity in the economy is low, and there is greater inequality between producer groups. In addition, the kleptocratic system is emerging due to formal institutions have neither placed significant restrictions on politiciansâ€™ actions nor make them accountable to citizens.
When institutions are strong, citizens punish politicians by voting them out of power; when institutions are weak, politicians punish citizens who fail to support them. When institutions are strong, politicians vie for the support and endorsement of interest groups; when institutions are weak, politicians create and control interest groups.
When institutions are strong, citizens demand rights; when institutions are weak, citizens beg for favors
Many of these inefficient policies are in place to transfer resources from the population to the ruling groups, while at the same time ensuring their political survival.
In particular, the nexus of inefficient policies appeared to be useful for creating an environment where any group that became politically mobilized against the rulers could be punished, while those that remained loyal were rewarded.
This divide-and-rule is a method used by kleptocrats to maintain power in weakly institutionalized polities while simultaneously pursuing policies costly to society. The logic of the divide-and-rule strategy is to enable a ruler to bribe politically pivotal groups off the equilibrium path, ensuring that he can remain in power against challenges.
By providing selective incentives and punishments, the divide-and-rule strategy exploits the fragility of social cooperation: when faced with the threat of being ousted, the kleptocratic ruler intensifies the collective action problem and destroys the coalition against him by bribing the pivotal groups.