Address cyclic trend of decline after polls

Tuesday, March 21st, 2023 02:20 | By

The trend of high stakes post-election political competition has set a bad precedent which perennially brings the country to a standstill after every General Election, a scenario that keeps on hurting the economy.

Over the last 20 years, every election cycle has ended in a dreadlock, necessitating a form of post-election agreement to cool down political temperatures. As Azimio and Kenya Kwanza size up each other six months after the elections, it is about time politicians came down from their high horses for the good of the country.

There is need to bring the economy to normalcy and create an environment that will spur it to grow — and dialogue among leaders is one way of achieving this. The unhealthy political environment politicians have fomented is not good for the country and Kenyans must move urgently to change political dynamics and seek permanent solutions to this perennial challenge.

Without a doubt, the ongoing political impasse will bring instability and discourage investments as potential investors and tourists rethink coming to Kenya. The upshot is that ordinary Kenyans will be the losers because the job market and business opportunities are bound to shrink if the tempo continues. The recovery journey from the downward trajectory that started in 2020 when Covid-19 struck needs to be maintained. But that will necessitate better management of the economy.

Now the country finds itself between a rock and a hard place as the two major political parties lock horns over a raft of issues.  Kenyans’ pain is made worse by the fact that the government, and the opposition, are walking different paths in this journey, especially on the dicey issues of subsidising the cost of food and energy. 

Already, reports point to tougher times ahead. One, dubbed Cost of Inaction,which is published by Oxfam and Save the Children points to a lack of political will to resolve issues facing the country, warning that something must give to unlock the unnecessary gridlock. The good news is that Kenya has sanctioned the importation of foodstuff to cushion Kenyans from the food crisis in the short term. And rains have started in some areas, which could boost production.

Even with these short-term fixes, Kenyans must still have the difficult conversation on how an election must end after the ballot is cast. This will ensure that the economy is not linked to general election cycles in future.

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