It’ll either be rise of the poor or fall of chief hustlers
Many commentators and political pundits keep referring to what President Mwai Kibaki did when he got the reins of power. He got us out of the doldrums to a vibrant economy that set us off as an economic powerhouse in the region.
One muted conversation in all these is that President Kibaki did that a time when we did not even know how bad a situation we were in. We did not know what success looked like and he did not belabour explaining, he just delivered it.
The second muted aspect of the President Kibaki first regime is the fact that even after recovering our economy, the ODM juggernaut led by luminaries including our current President technically ran him out of office, save for the dubious evening swearing in that eventually led to the grand coalition.
Today, Kenyans know what success looks like, or at least we have an idea of what we should expect from this regime given the promises they made on the campaign trail.
Technological advances have also come in handy to aid recall of what we should expect from the regime given their pompous promises.
If you don’t remember what they promised or what they said about the cost of living and the taxes on fuel, all you need to do is check your WhatsApp and you will be bombarded by what Prof David Ndii now tells us we ought not to have believed.
Well, the good professor should know that when emotions are whipped, and a rosy picture is painted with such conviction that characterised the Kenya Kwanza campaigns, even beggars start believing that they own horses and therefore you can’t tell them they will not ride what they own.
Campaigns clips are going round showing top leaders in this regime castigating the previous regime for the cost of fuel while painting a vivid a picture of a pro-mwanainchi driven government that will address the plight of the majority poor in record time.
One has a leading MP claiming that if the then regime was not going to address the escalating cost of fuel within a day, he was to call for an emergency meeting. Well, today the cost is even higher and maybe the meeting he is likely to call is one for crushing and maiming demonstrators.
They have forgotten the catch phrase “this people don’t know what they are doing to the economy and the pain they are causing the people of Kenya.”
Along the streets, in offices and marketplaces, while Kenyans are crying that the government is increasing and reinventing taxes every day, the top economic ideologue in the regime is busy on social media streets telling Kenyans unequivocally that their strategy might or might.
Unlike for President Kibaki when we hardly had a benchmark, today, the promises when looked at against the reality will put this regime to task and the outcome will definitely be consequential. Some promises sounded ludicrous and unrealistic and because they were made in public, Kenyans will always have a benchmark to weigh against reality.
The cost of things, for instance, will not go down. It never does in any economy and regime seems to have abdicated the pesa mfukoni promise.
Therefore, as Kenyans will be waiting for the cost of things to go down and life to be bearable in the wake of a punitive tax regime, the government will be hoping to collect more to expand the economy.
Taxpayers whose payslips have been raided and are expected to contribute massively to government agenda of adding one trillion to our revenues will cut down on spending.
Well, it is one thing to address the current economic challenges by living within our means and generating more revenues through taxes, but we run the risks of flogging the tax paying hustlers to destitution in the name of pulling some imaginary hustlers out of poverty.
Either the hustlers rise from the indignity of poverty or the chief hustlers fall from their privileged position.
— The writer is a PhD candidate in Political Communication