Don’t mind the title; I had to grab your busy attention from the onset. But really, are we sure we are not all Corrupt in the true sense of the word? Corruption, corruption! All this talk of not trusting our leaders, even when they make policies that are sensible is rubbish. Okay we are corrupt in Kenya. But do you think we are more corrupt than the Italians, the Chinese, the Indians or the South Africans? We are just a whole lot more lazy, it would appear. We prefer easy Government jobs that guarantee steady salaries and afford some privileged Kenyans the opportunity to sit around doing nothing for weeks without end, giving them time off to do their own personal stuffs at the expense of public funds, allowing them to go on pointless labour strikes for any reason at the slightest prompting.
They incredibly get to buy very expensive modern cars they can not ordinarily afford with five whole years of untouched regular wages. Kenyans spend huge fortunes on festivities and live well beyond their formal means. Most ordinary Kenyans are indeed as corrupt as the worst politicians and actually even more dubious in their own micro sphere of operations than is popularly admitted. A whooping eighty percent of working Kenyans , in every sector are just like their leaders that rob them. The only difference is that they can only nick the odd shillings off fellow Kenyan as a mere bribe or as the unwarranted overpricing of essential items. Some of Kenyans are even worse because they as easily kill their own neighbors in their worship places and burn up their fellow citizens’ homes while they are in bed, for the flimsiest reasons. Their leaders do not do that to their neighbours but they easily give them pittance to murder their fellow masses.
At this juncture let me define corruption from the Kenyans ’s general perspective, which incidentally doesn’t differ from the conventional one but emphasizes one Kenyans ’s misgiving and particular distrust for another Kenyan having the means to exercise their advantage over him. Corruption to the Kenyan means ‘having undue advantage’ and the definition of the phrase ‘undue advantage’ is relative to the individual, his orientation or bias. Already some Kenyans have started exercising their advantage by making fellow citizens pay over hundred percent more than they ought to after just a few days of no Unga subsidy, making them pay more for stuffs that don’t even have anything to do with it.
We blame everything on Uhuru Kenyatta because he is the president and rightly so, but then we find ourselves completely blameless for the pains we inflict on our fellow citizens and our own lazy carefree-ness, for craving so much more than we earn. We need a pinch in the arm so that we would wake up and grow up to the reality of things. When we grow up to our own simple honest responsibilities then maybe we can have the moral right to “Occupy Kenya” as progressive citizens and not the disoriented, cheapened & perpetual government welfare population we have made of ourselves.
It is such a pity that so many intelligent people can not understand the simple economic advantage of removing subsidy. It is such a pity that they actually chose not to because it quite conveniently fits into their larger plan of discrediting this president for either fraudulently ‘winning’ an election, or ‘hijacking’ the presidential slot! It is a huge insult to our teachers who had painstakingly taught us the viability of market forces. We either conveniently dumped their lessons on demand and supply, with their elastic curves or actually failed our graduate school certificate.
I have woken up to the fact that a lot of Kenyans are hell bent on having an economy that is predominantly dependant on government policies and not on market forces. The former (Government Policies) is prone to corrupt practices while the latter (Market Forces) is mainly in the hands of the people. The developed world has since come to terms with the fact that there is no substitute for a market economy. This debate has since left the realm of academic theories and transmitted into proven practical facts. The demise of USSR and other nations of the Soviet bloc is an eternal endearing case study.
Presently the Chinese are cheating their way to world dominance through the rewards of demand and supply; cheating because they steer the factors to ensure that it is more of the western world’s demand and their supply. The simply practicality of market forces makes it virtually impossible for prices to go beyond adjustments of Productivity, Availability, Profitability and Acquisition (PAPA). We must discipline our minds and perspectives.
Kenyans prefer the former because they love to demand and wouldn’t bend over and supply. Most Kenyans lack the personal discipline to be progressive and task themselves to persevere under a strenuous regime of creativity and its prolonged lingering changing effects. This is plainly because of the popularity of the age old quest of hanging to the past way of doing things and lying to ourselves that we live in a market driven society.
We grew up hearing tales of new university graduates driving into waiting jobs in brand new company cars. We learnt of; and sparingly got, education scholarships from the Government and glutted on how easy life should be if it isn’t. The persons who had shouted to the roof tops about our corrupt officials are now old in Government and they are worse than those they complained about, when things were a whole lot better that they are now. As such it seems better for most Kenyans to just sit back and watch, while amassing more fraudulent wealth for themselves and their kith & kin. Thus the corruption hydra would only thrive if the status quo remains as we endlessly pursue a vicious cycle.
We are still under the impression that Kenya is rich and we can some how get all our stolen money back and have incorruptible diligent leaders in waiting to take over and take us to the promise land. We are dreaming still. For these reasons I am therefore so sure the movement will lose in the very end, if it indeed succeeds in getting the status quo back. We will go the way of Greece, Ireland & Iceland when our corrupt cronies are done with us and we haven’t taught ourselves to market our resources and trade amongst ourselves but to rely on the flow of our abundant oil that is dwindling fast.
We also forget that we have a lingering sentimentality problem which is ceaselessly harnessed by a small portion of our parochial ethnic, religious and political elite in pursuit of their own selfish quests for relevance and dominance. So it is very difficult for the typical Kenyan to rummage through all these factionalized mess and determine the reality of thing as they truly are. It is important that we are not fooled about the true state of things about our national economics as they are now. These facts are in summary;
– The Kenyan nation is broke; how or why it is broke doesn’t change this fact.
– Kenyan can not gamble that things will change if they remain as they are.
– Kenyans must pay their way through this period ultimately, now or later.
– The Government is unreliable and can not be depended upon, now or later.
– The people can not guarantee prices subsidy but can determine every price.
– Market forces will empower Kenyans economically and thus politically.
– Only empowered Kenyans can change the nation with their votes and activities.
Kenyans needs the prices to be determined by market forces more than it needs anything else now. A lot of things rest on this, from the price of a cup of tea to the exchange rate of the US dollar. The capability to determine the unit prices of every single item in the country should be in the hands of the final consumers of these items, to a very large extend! With proper handling the Kenyan economy will explode and we will stop stocking dollars indoors and waiting for its dilly dallying exchange rates to guide us. As it is now the dollar continues to have a dual rating; an unrealistic pegged government one and another unrealistic Black market maneuvered one, both playing games with us.
We will weep for Kenya if all is lost when we refuse the present truth because of the old lingering lies. The world economy is not healthy, why do we think that somehow we will be immune to that effect. In the last five years food prices in Kenya has been fixed and unchanged. Within the same period every other price elsewhere soared and it is amazing that a lot of intelligent people can not understand the need to .