Over the recent polls, I have come to admire Dr. David Ndii’s strong stance on how the government runs the economy of this country. Apart from his brilliant academic dossier, he has stood his ground. In 7 Habits of a Highly Effective Person, the emphasis is on principals and that everything else you learn or grow like charm is just but superficial. You might influence people but not really create long lasting associations. I bet that is the key reason most of these political marriages die even before they stand. But David Ndii has called out this government on its lack of a clear economic outline. He has condemned this government’s lack. And the insatiable need to always borrow without really exploiting other income generating avenues.
We are a country that eats more than we can chew. From 2009, the deficit between revenue and expenditure has been going nowhere but up. All core government projects rely on loans from the outlay to completion. The public wage bill which entails civil servants and related cohorts, take up 37% of the wage bill, with the Teachers Service Commission second at 33% while the rest; ministries and other extra budgetary institutions, corporations controlled by government, parastatal bodies and county governments share the rest. Our leaders scoff a better part of the wage bill, whilst only 26% of employed Kenyans earn over fifty thousand shillings.
You get David Ndii’s frustration. Having served as an economist for the World Bank and advised nations and governments including Rwanda, he has dissected economies, watched them fall as well as seen them grow. There is this great book, a friend recommended- Life of an Economic Hitman. It is about superpowers and corporates like World Bank and IMF, cornering African leaders during elections for their own selfish gains. Unmandated and unnecessary laws are their collateral after you win or rig elections. Eventually, they push you past your limits and your economy stretches until it breaks. 15 out of 46 sub-Saharan countries are in a debt distress. Thank to overborrowing. He says if you want to understand the world’s economy and more so, third world countries please read it. I haven’t. I will. But you do not need to read the book to know we are ailing economically.
These debts African countries incur should grow us positively. We should be smart enough to ensure that we build worthwhile efficient income generating projects that will cover for the debt. We don’t. African nations and their leaders have been overly sensitized on these international loans until it has become part of our survival culture. Focus on revenue diminishes with the assurance of loans to sustain projects. With the worst scourge of corruption affecting most Third World Countries that even as much as we take on overwhelmingly huge loans and debts, the very leaders who are supposed to steer these funds into meaningful projects are mercilessly filling their pockets.
This bad habit has pushed Kenya into bed with China. None of these supremacists are better lending us their money, but a communist like China is too low for Kenya. Dale Carnegie in How to Influence People and Win Friends pens that nothing interests man more than himself. China have proven this to be nothing but the truth. They came to Africa for the gains and nothing else. See how they are taking over our constructions and market. we cannot send them away, we cannot stifle their penetration into the Kenyan market because we owe them. We are at their mercy. They can tie us on the feet and leave us dangling from a tree, but we care less. We fucking owe them.
The communist is particularly cunning. He will give you an overwhelming huge loan that even in a century you will not be able to repay and ask you for some collateral. They will go for your most prized possession, the pearls of your country. Then, they will stay and help you build an extravagant project which will eventually run down your country. They will take over your market with their stealth products, bigger at a lesser price. One day, your women will give birth to babies who look nothing African. But that’s okay. God said let us multiply and fill the earth. A few years later, you default. God forbid, they come for your pearls, like Zambia. The Zambian International Airport. Like Kenya. Mombasa Port.
We can do better as a country when start talking accountability more than profitability. The day we wake up from politicking and holding our leaders accountable. Kenya’s lack in stable economic stature is an African disease because we don’t really lack, we are just Africans.