The majority of these Wash Wash magicians always move around with Flashy Cars, the latest designer clothes, Rolex watches, hang out in some of the most expensive clubs drinking only expensive bottles, they are always surrounded by beautiful women, etc., etc.
Everyone in Kenya is talking about Wash Wash. This is after a controversial blogger, Edgar Obare exposed what he termed as names behind illegal businesses such as money laundering and fake currency in Kenya. We call them Wash Wash.
Of course, a section of Kenyans appeared “furious”. They were “furious” because these Was Wash boys and girls are destroying the country, legit businesses, and “giving us a bad name.” Of course, they were so furious that they started naming some.
But, are most Kenyans mad at Wash Wash because Wash Wash is bad or because it is not them? The truth is, a thief who has no opportunity to steal thinks that he/she is an honorable person. But given a chance, with this economy, we shall be in.
The majority of these Wash Wash magicians always move around with Flashy Cars, the latest designer clothes, Rolex watches, hang out in some of the most expensive clubs drinking only expensive bottles , they are always surrounded by beautiful women, etc., etc.
You find them with all these expensive things but you never know where the cash is coming from or who is bankrolling them. What many Kenyans don’t know is that this business runs deeper than just dealing with fake currency.
Some of the most common Wash Wash businesses include, of course, dealing in fake currency, fake arms, fake gold, scamming people through real estate, selling and awarding fake tenders, hacking into financial institutions, among others.
This piece is not about naming names. If you want names, look for Edgar Obare and let him give you a list. This is to amplify some of the effects of this Wash Wash business on the economy of Kenya. The effects are many but will just look at 5.
Some Kenyans think that the impact of Wash Wash on the economy is “minimal.” Wrong. It is huge and runs deep into the system. You may be surprised to find out that some of the economic challenges we are facing are as a result of this kind of business.
Increase in cash on the “streets”.
Everyone would love to have money. But money was never meant for everyone. When everyone has money, it loses the honor of being “money”. The sweetness of money lies in its scarcity. Remember, too much of something is poisonous.
When there is too much money, the value of the shilling falls and when it does, inflation rises because people have to spend more for less. Since these guys are printing money that is hard to tell from the real one, CBK is finding it hard to tame them.
Increase in property prices
Since these people have so much money, they have to “clean it” and put it into the system. What is the use of having lots of cash just sitting in your house like a collection of things? You have to clean it and make it “legit”. Make it look like you worked for it.
So, most of them are investing either in real estate or renting high-end apartments. With your current financial status, can you buy a house in Nairobi in cash right now? No. But apartments are coming up day and night because there are young boys with money to buy.
Since these human beings don’t care how much something costs, those selling end up adjusting prices to the level of those who have money, and now this is what is leading to increasing in prices beyond what most of us can afford. The same goes for cars.
Death of Small Businesses
Did you know that at least 450,000 SMEs die annually in Kenya? This is 30,000 monthly and at least 1,000 daily. SMEs die in Kenya for various reasons and Wash Wash is one of them. How? Read and learn my friend.
Remember, these people are swimming in money. They have no business making profits. All they want is their much money to “make sense”. They, therefore, start a business without their hearts in. They sell at half the prices killing those sweating to sell to make a living.
Corruption through fake tenders
This is common with politicians and government officials. Remember people who were paid billions of shillings (our taxes) for supplying nothing (air) to the National Youth Service (NYS) and KEMSA? That is also part of the Wash Wash syndicate.
Do you remember the fake arms deal that was to cost the Kenyan military billions of shillings? Am sure you also remember the names behind that saga. If the deal would have gone through, our taxes would have gone just like that.
When you hear a whole President of the Republic of Kenya saying that we are losing at least 2 billion shillings to corruption daily, believe him. Because he knows. He leads them.
Death. Finished. Kaput. Now, these Wash Wash human beings are not easy to play with. They will kill you if you become a threat to their business or security. You saw people telling Edgar Obare to be “careful” because it is the truth.
And their cases of murder or attempted murder barely go beyond the first mentioning. They have money and anyone with money in this country can afford justice. Why struggle with lawyers when you can buy the judge?
I know there are so many effects of this business on the economy. Please feel free to list some of them in the comment section and I will add some of them in this piece and attribute them to you. Kapish?