By Empraim Njega
KENYA HAS BECOME A PLAYGROUND FOR EXPLOITATIVE FOREIGN CAPITAL
I was recently surprised to find a 25gm of mixed nuts (peanuts, macadamia and cashew nuts) has risen from KSh 29 to KSh 46. This is after Tanzania President John Magufuli ordered the army to buy all cashew nuts in Tanzania causing a global shortage. The Tanzanian President feels that the farmers are not earning their labour’s worth and wants prices to rise.
This is a first in the region where a government has deployed the military on an economic issue. The deployment of military to protect Chinese investors in Uganda might come second.
I may not agree with everything Magufuli is doing especially the how of it but I like the renewed commitment to ensure we Africans benefit fully from our natural resources.
Here in Kenya foreigners are taking advantage of our people as government idles away. Take the examples of taxi hailing cabs. These people have come up with exploitative business models where they are making commissions while leaving drivers and car owners with nothing. These models have been rejected even in some EAC countries. Where is our government?
What about these mobile loan Apps. Most are run by foreigners who are engaging in predatory and Shylock lending practices that can never be allowed in any country.
Look at the NSE. Foreigners are buying solid companies which Kenyans have built for years and de-listing them from the NSE. Think of Access Kenya, Rea Vipingo, Unga Group, Kenol Kobil (why would we need foreigners to run petrol stations) etc
Why is government allowing contractors to import materials for government projects that can be made locally? Predatory dumping of Chinese goods in our markets is also going on without hindrance killing our local industries. Why is Kenya Power importing cables and transformers that we can make locally, why would government hospitals be importing oxygen and other supplies which are made locally?
We have made this country a playing ground for foreigners. This has to stop if our economy is to create jobs and benefit the people. We can’t continue borrowing money and wasting it in unnecessary imports.