The current political stalemate is a blessing if harnessed.

The current political stalemate is a blessing if harnessed.

By Eric Simatwa

The contest before us goes far beyond the government versus the Azimio Coalition; it’s more of a quest for a sustainable country.

For as far as we can imagine in an independent Kenya, there have been some serious setbacks towards our economic takeoff and nationhood.

The challenges of national cohesion and integration and self-serving spirit in the country’s leadership are major obstacles to baking a nation that successive generations can be proud of!

Perhaps the current tussle can occasion a national wake-up call and trigger us to reflect on our leadership trajectory.

This is why the call for an inclusive talks is not a far-fetched idea; it’s not only necessary but wise, given the triviality with which our politicians are known to handle public concerns, true to a wise old quote that says, “Leadership is so important a business to be left to politicians alone.”

The clergy, members of the civil society, members of the fourth estate, and representatives of eminent persons should be factored in the national talks; otherwise, politicians will front their personal interests.

It’s not right when our national wage bill exceeds 45% of our total revenue collection against the 35% normal rate, as a yearly audit reveals a third of our national budget gets misappropriated or siphoned off by our ruling class and public officers.

These have prompted the national debt to sour near the ceiling, and soon the country will have no more lending institutions finding it a credible debtor, rendering the government with no alternative but to tax the public more to keep the country afloat!

The history and increase of the country’s debt is indeed frightening! We are told President Moi left office with approximately 0.8 trillion; Kibaki accumulated a trillion in his two terms, making it 1.8 trillion by 2013.

Only for the Jubilee administration to inflate it to above 8 trillion in less than two decades while the financed projects don’t seem viable enough to repay the debts, if what we hear about the SGR is anything to go by!

We should all be inspired by the old Greek proverb: “A society is great when old men plant trees in whose shade they will never sit.”

So, as the call for dialogue gets fashionable, how to inspire investor confidence, put every energetic and skillful citizen to work, ensure prudent management, and utilization of our limited resources should top our national discourse, not only to ease our current hard economic conditions per se but for posterity.

I therefore find it problematic if we narrow our minds to which side of the political divide is right or wrong.

The focus of every conscious citizen now should be on how we can inspire national cohesion, promote quality leadership, inculcate leadership discipline, and ensure accountability by the ruling class.

Eric Simatwa,

Good governance advocate,[]


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