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Next president must assure nation on economic recovery

By , People Daily Digital
Thursday, October 14th, 2021 00:00 | 3 mins read
The market has been rallying during the quarter under review in spite of Covid-19 pandemic. (INSET) CMA chief executive Wyckliffe Shamiah. Photo/PD/File

Silverse Anami 

Who is the best candidate to lead Kenya in these trying economic times and why? This is the question in the minds of Kenyans of goodwill.

In attempting to answer the question in his article published on the September 7, 2021 edition of the People Daily, and titled Why Raila is best candidate for next year’s election, Cavince Adhere went to a great deal of effort to outline a list of strengths and capabilities held by the former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

Adhere waxed lyrical about the achievements of Raila, including the great personal sacrifices he has made for the nation, and which no one can refute.  

However, methinks the current economic situation is too dire for Kenyans to live or survive on nostalgia alone.

This is especially the case when one considers that some of Raila’s political calculations such as whipping his party members to support the fuel formula in 2018 have a direct correlation to the current high cost of living misery facing Kenyans today.

I dare ask: Do we really need a Raila presidency in 2022, or are we burdening our future with a deflated political icon who will do nothing other than ascend to high office for political self-actualisation?

Kenya needs to focus on revamping the economy. Nothing more, nothing less.

The country needs safety, stability and sustainable government to prevent the cyclical mishaps of tribal insecurity and the recurring drought, accompanied by hunger in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands parts.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the economy was not doing well as witnessed from the slowdown in growth from 2018 to 2020.

The pandemic has no doubt weakened the economy further as captured in the negative growth of 0.3 per cent in the 2021 Economic Survey by the Kenya National Bureau of statistics. 

In my considered opinion, no one has demonstrated the consistency and commitment to economic recovery agenda more than Musalia Mudavadi, who has exhibited the understanding and track record needed for an economic turnaround in the affairs of over 50-plus million Kenyans.

What better candidate for the top seat than someone who understands the ins and outs of the national coffers having been Minister of Finance and National Planning (1992-1997). 

The last time we experienced negative economic growth was in 1992. The man who rescued the country from the doldrums at the time was none other than Mudavadi.

At the time the economic hardship was such that he found the public coffers nearly empty with only enough foreign exchange reserves to bring in a single consignment of petroleum. 

Yet he turned around the economy, resulting in a positive growth in 1993 and rising growth rates in the subsequent years of his tenure as head of the Exchequer. 

As Kenyans face similar crisis today, particularly in terms of fiscal performance, it is only logical that the country turns its favour towards his candidature for the presidency.

One Raila’s undoing, which Adhere chose to keep mum over, is the constant engagement of his political machine with a focus mainly towards Deputy President William Ruto, resulting in bitter resentment between the two camps and turning the country towards the drums of war.

Their jibes and insults isn’t good for the nation. Such theatrics have always only added fuel to the fire. Kenyans need a conciliatory and consensus building approach.

It’s clear to all and sundry the public is tired of constant political hoodwinks.

Honesty and realism are a scarce commodity that will breath fresh air in politics.

It is time leaders offered realistic promises to the voter because getting the economy back on its feet won’t be a walk in the park.

Mudavadi is, therefore, a true voice of reason because he is consistent on the issues that matter.

He is on record, openly and boldly telling Kenyans what it will really take to fix the country and that there will be pain in correcting the fiscal crisis. — The writer is former Shinyalu MP 

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