“We all think we’re going to get out of debt” by Louie Anderson is a quote I love to always remind myself of before I take any loans to thoroughly weigh my ability to repay and not allow the idea of extra money that I did not have to work for confuse me into bad debts.
It is no longer possible to mention the term ‘debt’ without triggering a reminder of Kenya’s debt and we all quietly feel the cold fear of uncertainty creep up to us.
ICEA Lion, the other day held an appreciation breakfast for their clients and the topic of Kenya’s debt was inevitable. An investor was concerned when the idea of investing in treasury bills came up and questioned how safe it was with the country plunged into so debt. The assurance the investor got was that the Government had taken several measures to save the country’s economy. What measures has the Government taken to mitigate the county from plunging into a debt crisis?
As depressing as it sounds, the Government plans and is already collecting taxes to repay the debt that is not only growing because of the interest it is incurring but also since our Government’s appetite for debt shows no sign of subsidizing in the near future.
Kenyans are undoubtedly carrying a heavy burden of taxation, which is not just irritating but cuffs them from growing. Taxes have choked most of the Small and Medium enterprises commonly referred to as SME’s sending a large number of businesses parking this year while the companies that have stabilized have sent a large number of Kenyans home in retrenchment.
The saddest part of the taxes affair is that it is not uniform, politicians with the likes of Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko while in office as the Nairobi Senator failed to pay 13.9 million shillings to the taxman which has since led to threats of freezing the office account which is now led by Johnson Sakaja. Top officials and leaders have not only been accused of stealing from what Kenyans pay as a tax but also refusing to pay the same tax that they demand from the common mwananchi.
This is most likely the worst form of mockery the Government has played on citizens; either that or it is just helpless when it comes to employing people with integrity. The term ‘Scandals’ can easily be used to describe our Government and corruption is most likely to mess President Uhuru’s legacy.
The Government is indeed being heard when it comes to fighting corruption but it is not being seen and felt when it comes to fighting the vice. The politicizing of the fight against corruption continues to deal a heavy blow to the efforts as Kenyans come into terms of the large sums involved in the losses. Some of the scandals Kenyans have had to witness this 2018 include; NCPB maize scandal – 1.9 billion shillings, second National Youth Service (NYS) scandal – 9 billion shillings, the Laptop tender row, hustler-jet scandal, UKUTABerg scandal, the Karen land scam and the latest one brewing at the National Hospital Fund (NHIF)
Kenyans used to agape their mouths at the loss of millions in the Government offices, now they stare, helplessly, with their heads on their chins. Demonstrations cannot even save us from our predicament, we brought it upon ourselves, an injustice that coming generations will not be spared from.