Kenya is at a political crossroad. Every tongue is wagging about this, temperatures rising and almost every economic sector is feeling the heat despite the constant assurances from the government that the “economy is stable.”
The reigning uncertainty has puzzled even the lawyers with each interpreting the Constitution basing on how it favors them. Some say President Uhuru Kenyatta was legally elected during the 26th October Presidential repeat polls while some say, they do not recognize him as the President of the Republic of Kenya because he was not elected through a ‘free, fair and democratic process.”
During the 26th Presidential repeat polls, a total of 25 constituencies did not take part in the process. According to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, (IEBC), even if the election would have taken place in the 25 constituencies, the results would not have altered the final outcome of the presidential results. This is not to mention that the main opposition leader Raila Odinga, had withdrawn from the race.
The results have since been challenged in the Supreme Court of Kenya and the country is awaiting the out. As to whether the Supreme Court will annul them for the second time, only time will tell and as to whether the Supreme Court will give the process a clean go-ahead, then Uhuru Kenyatta will be sworn in but with a dark cloud still hanging ahead.
Early this week, the National Super Alliance (NASA) leader, Raila Odinga suggested what he termed as a cure for the current political stalemate in the country. “We need to have an interim arrangement of governance involving representatives of both parties and six months will be required to carry out all these changes that we need in our country in order to have proper free and fair election,”
Of all the ideas Raila has been having for the healing of the nation, this one was a bad idea and will hurt the economy even the more. Here is why:
The Wage Bill
The country is already struggling with a huge wage bill. Most of those consuming the lion’s share of the government’s expenditure in terms of salaries are government officials. Proposing for an interim government that will include representatives from both the Jubilee and NASA sides means the government is going to spend more on salaries. In fact, the number of ministries is likely to be increased in order to accommodate both factions. During the coalition government between Raila Odinga and Mwai Kibaki, the government spends more money in paying salaries than on developments.
The country is deep in debt. Despite numerous assurances that we are still ‘within the borrowing range’, the truth is, with a debt of more than 4 trillion shillings, Kenya is struggling. This was witnessed last week as the National Treasury announced plans to take another Eurobond to settle another Eurobond as depicted in the Digging a Hole to Fill Another Hole: Case of Kenya’s Eurobond. See how Kenya’s debt has been evolving as compared to GDP:
There is going to be an increased looting of public resources as the two factions compete to outdo each other. It happened during the coalition between Raila and Kibaki and there is nothing to stop it from happening. Every divide is likely to loot public resources no side willing to expose the other as they guard their own personal interest. The Grand Coalition as it used to be known had Grand Failures that can still be felt to date.