As 2022 politics intensify one thing that remains a tragedy is the depleting economy that the next president will inherit from President Uhuru Kenyatta who retires in August. On top of failing in most of its promises, the current regime has seriously failed in economy, eradicating corruption and creating jobs.
The damaged economy resulted from the arbitrary use of power to reduce parliament into a rubber stamp on major policy and governance issues. Uhuru’s erratic economic policies, the Covid-19 pandemic and now the war in Ukraine are pushing Kenya in the Pakistan direction where the economy came to a complete halt.
Already, people are feeling the heat of rising inflation and skyrocketing food prices which creates a major threat to the next administration which will have to rely on desperate strategies such as creating a crisis to increase oil prices to ensure long term recovery.
Kenyan situation worsened after the ODM party abandoned its role as the official opposition which includes keeping an eye on the Jubilee government. They have instead gone to bed with the Jubilee government which is behind the mess which only compares to the Pakistan situation.
ODM leader is promising to carry on from the current regime which boasts of crippling the national debt, galloping inflation and weak Kenyan shilling. The Economy which was already in bad shape was battered and also battered by the Covid-19 pandemic.
President Uhuru Kenyatta is hellbent to have his hands firm on the next government the same way Pakistan’s Imran was struggling to survive before he was kicked out through the vote of ‘No Confidence’.
The new Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr Shebhaz Sharif, has already initiated a ‘Pakistan Speed’ to hurry the country along with development plans to heal the economy. In Kenya, the cause of the mess is meddling in succession politics despite crumbling the economy and failing to deliver campaign promises.
There has been a constant increase in the cost of power under Uhuru’s regime which is also behind increased power tariffs on accounts of fuel cost adjustments.
Just like Pakistan, the increase in tariff is one way Kenya Power has been used to burden consumers who still have to endure long power outages which have negative impacts on their businesses.
And now with the dire need for the next regime to fix the current mess, top presidential contenders like Deputy President William Ruto is pushing a ‘bottom-up’ economical model arguing that the trickle-down system has worsened the mess.
Ruto explains the model (bottom-up) as a blueprint targeting to promote investments in ordinary Kenyans and empowering them financially so the country can generate taxes to spur economic growth.
And while hitting back at his political opponents like Raila Odinga who will be vying for the presidency under Azimio la Umoja banner, DP explained that the “hustler’s economic model” is the cornerstone of his 2022 presidential campaign which will replace the trickle-down approach he accuses of breeding cartels, monopolies and benefiting a few.
The bottom-up model is anchored on programmes that promote investments and financial instruments that target unemployed Kenyans, owners of small enterprises, farmer groups and fishermen.
His backers also believe that model will be a solution to the widening gap between the rich and the poor but critics including the ODM Raila Odinga have rubbished it and complained that it is a copied version of their manifesto.
Other players in the DP’s camp including ANC boss Musalia Mudavadi have also emphasized on the need to reconfigure the economy. But Odinga who is Ruto’s main opponent is pledging a Ksh 6000 monthly stipend to unemployed youths under what he calls social protection programme.
The dent in the economy has been worsened by President Uhuru’s government which has time and again dismissed the perception that the cost of its so-called legacy projects may have been inflated and that Kenyans might not get value for money from the huge infrastructural investment.
Some of the projects whose cost runs into billions of shillings are far from completion but the Jubilee government going into overdrive to ensure they are unveiled before the August 9 election.
The regime is relying on Standard Gauge Railway and Nairobi Expressway whose costs were inflated. These projects to played a central role in cementing President Kenyatta’s legacy after being on the reign for ten years.
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