What constantly surprises me is just how clueless and uncomprehending even educated people seem about what’s about to hit this country. We seem ill-equipped to extrapolate the implications of the IMF and World Bank led SAPs starting with the elimination of subsidies, govt retrenchments, and the massive privatisations.
They are privatizing banks and hospitals and the port infrastructure and basic social services. So by the time the economy ‘recovers’ most essential national assets will be in private hands owned by shadowy Kenyans and white Capital. We’ll wake up to a new normal where everything is private and expensive from hospitals and water to schooling and critical national infrastructure.
First the riparian madness is for depopulating Nairobi. The government is scared of having millions of you in Nairobi, hungry, jobless, struggling with fuel costing 130/= per litre. 2.5 of the 4M Nairobians residents live in the 200+ ghettos. So they demolish South-End to make the Kibera people feel it’s not just them. They burn the Langata slum then go after some big fish. It’s an optics game. Truth is the target are the big ghettos.
This is a young country, averaging 19 years meaning most of you were born post-SAPs and right when Kibakinomics ushered some brief recovery and growth. So we have no template
to this madness. Neoliberalism will reorient families, loss of income right when fuel hits 130/= will destroy livelihoods. Millions of able men/women will watch their families shatter as the incomes dry up. Younger men won’t have the cash to fund weddings or even marry. The era of huge dependencies like the 90s where all siblings moved in with the working son or daughter will be back. Any man below 30 and unmarried will push it for another 10 years. Expect massive decline in marriages and family life. More kids will drop out of school. Social relations will be redefined for a generation or two. Expect a rise in mental health challenges, suicides, and unexplained deaths. The life expectancy will definitely drop from the current mid-fifties.
Do you see those vehicle shell left outside houses in the 90s? Most people, simply unable to fuel their cars parked them outside their homes. Then sold the tires, then the engines till they are left with those Mazda and Peugeot shell outside their homes. We are walking into an economic blizzard. Once the fuel hits 130/= its not going down again for at least 4-7 years. What does that mean for transport costs which are then passed to the consumers through increased fares and food prices. Elec bills will become unassailable. Depressed yet?
The middle class will be wiped out. We’ll become like Malawi where you are either rich or poor. You are either in the Kaloleni-style housing or you are in up-market. Currently walk into any middle class Estate and the parking lot is full of guzzlers. People who used to pay 90-150k rent have moved to 45k houses but can’t offload their guzzlers coz no one is buying those cars now. So you have a 40k a month apartment in Ruaka yet the parking lot has Discovery-3s, Merc CLS, V8s and 3M Bob bikes at the parking lot.
The upper middle class downscale forcing everyone to downscale till the lowest classes unable to survive leave town. If you think life is hard right now in Kenya you ain’t seen ish. The 7 years of drought are here with us. We effed the 7 years of plenty; that is there was ever a period of abundance.