By: Moses Kandie
Kenyaâ€™s Deputy Prime Minister and Jubilee Coalition flag bearer Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta while appearing on â€œTalk to Al Jazeeraâ€ Show hosted by Folly Bah Thibault, spoke ably on tribal violence, justice, politics and the future of Kenya.
Though he spoke eloquently and passionately on issues affecting Kenyans, his candidature and the impending trials at The Hague, some of his comments will not go unchallenged.
Hon Uhuru asserted that the Kenya Government in which he serves has fostered reconciliation in the country through peace initiatives and resettled ALL IDPs on alternative land and compensated them for the loss that occurred in the aftermath of the 2007 general election.Â With the current killings in the Tana Delta and animosities between communities shows little has been done in having a cohesive society.
On the issue of IDPs, we know they are still in camps in Mawingo, Ol’Kalau district, Gilgil, Naivasha, Pipeline in Nakuru, Ekerenyo in Kisii and the discrimination in compensation as highlighted by the latest Human Rights Watch report and local media.Â Even in the resettlement itself, there is a clear gap between short-term measures the government has employed vis-Ã -vis a comprehensive medium and long-term initiatives that IDPs need to end their displacement and restart their lives.
Hon Uhuru claims that Kenya has witnessed tremendous growth without the input of Western (Foreign) Aid.Â Interesting! Nothing can be further from the truth and as a former Finance Minister he should know better. Take for instance the current financial year with a budget of Ksh 1.5 trillion.Â The government anticipates collecting revenue of ksh 955 billion where Ksh 870 billion is of Ordinary Revenue and Ksh 79.3 billion of Appropriation-In-Aid. This leaves Treasury with a budget deficit of Ksh 505.3 billion with projections of of Ksh 225.5 billion in form of loans and grants, Ksh 169.3 billion from bilateral and multilateral development partners of course from the West!
With a budget deficit that is a fifth of our GDP, reduced foreign funding would only increase Kenyaâ€™s domestic borrowing, thus raising interest rates.
For only this year, foreign support accounts for 18.2% of the total budget up from 17% in the outgoing year, a clear indication that the government is increasingly relying on development partners in budget financing. Most of these increases happened under Uhuruâ€™s watch at the treasury.
An 18% hole in the budget would require that budget cuts are executed across the board, and in most cases, social services like education and healthcare which are already underfunded, are usually the first culprits.
Gains made thus far in education would be rolled back, Free Primary education which keeps poor children in school long enough to at least learn to read and write would be jeopardized. Crime and illiteracy would rise with enormous consequences on the economy.
The struggling and underfunded health services sector would get worse, as HIV, TB, AIDs and Malaria programs would become underfunded. Resistant strains (which wonâ€™t respond to treatment) for these diseases like HIV/TB which already rely heavily on donor funding are even more expensive to manage. Poor relations with donors would mean that the health sector would descend into further abyss of mediocrity. Infectious diseases would spread fast. Donor funded ARVs or anti-retroviral would halt, and HIV mortality would dramatically grow, with AIDS orphans population growing. That is why the consequences of Jubileeâ€™s foreign policies are vicious and unfathomable and of gross human rights violation proportions.
Truth be told; life will not be the same with sanctions, Zimbabwe was an economy just like Kenya, since sanctions things have turned for worse yet they are open for business with China/East. China alone cannot insulate us. Imagine the collapse of the cut flower cluster, the hot culture et el.
Inflation will spiral and the middle class will lose the entire savings; it will be pain, nobody should contemplate sanctions. Zimbabwe is a practical example, just remember the xenophobic violence in South Africa targeting Zimbabweans awhile back.
Likewise, last week while officiating the ground breaking ceremony for the Konza Techno City, the President made an appeal to both local and foreign investors to take advantage of opportunities available in the country and invest. For Kenya to realise meaningful development, it is incumbent on us to continue fostering good relations with our partners both regionally and globally.
Hon Uhuru also claimed that the Jubilee Coalition was as result of the need to foster peace in the country. Itâ€™s not lost to Kenyans that a while ago, the URP Spokesperson Hon. Aden Dualle was quoted saying that they will only enter a coalition with a party that â€œonly understands the ICC equation.â€ This then answers the coalition that TNA and URP finds themselves in today as a coalition against the ICC. A coalition against humanity, whose rights and dignity the ICC seeks to defend. A coalition against victims of human rights violations.