You can’t stop the future neither can you rewind the past, the only way to learn the secret is to press play. When the former retired president Mwai Kibaki was sworn in as president back in 2002, East Africa’s largest economy was facing a myriad of problems stemming from years of mismanagement and a series of corruption under the Moi regime.
During his inauguration speech, he insisted on unemployment, declining school enrolment and deterioration of the education sector, lack of access to basic and affordable health services, dilapidated roads and other infrastructure networks and growing insecurity.
As we have it, history is repeating itself in the jubilee administration; we’ve seen rising percentages of unemployment, massive underemployment, rising inflation, increasing debts, high taxation and much more.
The improved management of the economy during Kibaki’s presidency saw Kenya’s GDP grow from a low 0.6 per cent in 2002 to three per cent in 2003, 4.9 per cent in 2004, 5.8 per cent in 2005, six per cent in 2006 and seven per cent in 2007.
In 2008, it slowed to 1.8 percent, before climbing to 2.8 percent in 2009 and five percent in 2010. The slowdown is attributed to the disputed elections of 2008, but one can easily sum that the recovery was significant compared to near collapse and decay witnessed during the time of his predecessor
“Poverty levels decreased with just under half of the population living below the poverty line, sharp geographic and socio-economic disparities that showed the push for equality is still a far off dream until date.” Centre for Economic and Social Rights (CESR),
Even as we see the GDP grow tremendously in the jubilee administration, growth is minimally felt due to high unemployment, underemployment, high commodity prices, high rising debt, etc.
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration is set accumulate about Sh1.84 trillion more in public debt before his term ends in August 2020, revealing increased pressure on taxpayers’ funds.
Treasury chiefs project in draft Budget Review and Outlook Paper that total debt will jump to Sh7.65 trillion in the year ending June 2022, from nearly Sh5.81 trillion this June. The debt projection has been revised upwards by Sh480 billion compared to the forecast set last year, underlining the government’s appetite for debt.
The increased debt has seen Kenya commit more than half of taxes to repaying loans, leaving little cash for building roads, affordable housing and revamping the ailing health sector.
The cost of food in Kenya increased 8.70 percent in October of 2019 over the same month in the previous year. Food Inflation in Kenya averaged 9.65 percent from 2010 until 2019, reaching an all-time high of 26.20 percent in October of 2011 and a record low of -1.15 percent in August of 2018.
The economies may be growing, but because unemployment and underemployment are also rising, the incomes of those that are earning are supporting more people. People are not feeling the growth. They are feeling the financial burden of adult children who were expected to be contributing to family upkeep.
Every five years a chance is given to change our lives for the better, but we tend to hide in the tribal cocoon by electing leaders basing on tribes and overlook the fact that leaders should be elected based on merit and not party affiliation. Failure to vote gives leaders free reign to dominate and pursue self-interests at the expense of the common good so when time comes you are urged to vote to defend your liberty.