Kenya: Far from Uhuru, Public Expenditure Problems and More: – Alex Ndungu Njeru


Kenya is a tinderbox, a hot cauldron of un-achieved dreams, un-met expectations, bubbles away threatening to scald the nation in as it spills over, a country on the edge of the precipice. I have a feeling that negative energy is bubbling in Kenya, a cloud of civil chaos or a ‘la revolution’ as some might call it hangs and stalks Kenya like a the devil with a giant scythe. The country waits with abated breath as to what it will amount.

Ever since the March 4th election, and the protracted Supreme Court ruling, Kenyans across the two political divides have their daggers drawn and have been throwing duds at each other across a big gulf of political opinion. Sympathizers of the Coalition for Reform and Democracy (CORD) opposition, led by Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka have continually stuck to the opinion that the March 4th 2013, election were massively flawed. Sympathizers, sycophants and henchmen of the Uhuru Kenyatta Jubilee government, continue to savour the March 4th 2013 election victory and the subsequent humiliation of the opposition election petition at the High Court without abandon. Again, without abandon, the supporters of the Jubilee government are of the view that ‘it is our time and they (the opposition) should languish in the peripheries of state power, as we hog all the powers that be.’ It is this flaunting of state power by communities mainly the Kikuyu and the Kalenjins arguably Kenya’s largest voting blocks, that is causing discontent and opening out bad psychological wounds to the opposition supporters.  

In a democracy where political rationalization and socialization is based on a strong anchor of negative ethnicity, then I see no reason to be optimistic. The government as well as the opposition has a big role to play in healing the fissures that are so eminently evident in Kenya’s society. Otherwise none of the two parties will have a country and populace to rule over. That said and done, the citizenry, particularly the objective and the cloudless minded among us must weed out the political fables teeming with lies, propaganda and outright incitement. For this country is first and foremost for her people, her citizens; young, old, white, black and from all corners of the country. For that reason it is important to let the government and the opposition squabbling, as a matter of fact it is health and I encourage it but, we as the citizen must not let those; political squabbles, gimmicks and games of power play get down to us and get real.

That aside another issue that the new Uhuru administration that Uhuru Kenyatta and his administration have to address as a matter or urgency is growing government expenditure. The labour unions are getting greedy; strikes seem to be the order of the day. Last week the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) called off a strike that had lasted for three weeks. The teachers were asking for increased commuter and housing allowances, who can blame the teachers any-way, after-all hadn’t the members of parliament succeeded to arm-twist the government into increasing their salaries from 550,000 KSHs to 770,000 KSHs. Hadn’t the County representatives succeeded in increasing their salaries from 70,000 KSHs to above 170,000 KSHs. Aren’t the governors wallowing in immense wealth and living abhorrently grandeuristic lifestyles. Why, for the sake of sake’s sake shouldn’t poor teachers increase their salaries? Greed it seems, is being normalized and institutionalized to make it seem acceptable in Kenyan society, and this is happening because key institutions like parliament are out-rightly greedy, whereas the checks and balances that that’d help to check runaway greed are systematically enfeebled.

Won’t the unions bring Kenya to its knees like they have brought the US city of Detroit down?

The government of Kenya appropriates a huge chunk of Kenya’s GDP, how appropriate one might ask? The government it seems is blessed with the ability to appropriate resources very effectively. The Civil Service budget seems to be burgeoning, and Kenyans are paying through their noses to keep the bureaucrats fat.

It is much more paramount for public expenditure purse-strings to be tightened more so in this devolved system where the two levels of government; the central government and the county governments are competing to guzzle the tax-payers money like crazy.


Alex Ndungu Njeru wrote in from Kenya

Njeru sees troubles ahead if Kenya continues with the usual