New president must tackle graft, inflation
President-elect Dr William Ruto has his work cut out, coming on the backdrop of dwindling economic fortunes wrought by the Covid-19 pandemic and surging inflation.
Apart from goodies promised to Kenyans during the campaigns, Ruto must quickly get acquainted to the corner office and hit the ground running by first uniting the country after the hotly contested elections.
Having promised to make Kenya a more functional economy, the fifth president-elect must first be ready to deliver on the various ambitious promises he and his Kenya Kwanza brigade made to Kenyans during the campaigns within the time frames they set for themselves. The president -elect also has a duty to ensure that projects started by President Uhuru Kenyatta are completed. It is gratifying that during his acceptance speech on Monday, Ruto committed to build on the foundation set by his predecessor to take the country to the next level.
The high cost of living, which has now left millions struggling to put food on the table, must be tackled immediately by providing long term solutions. A vast majority of Kenyans, unable to afford the higher prices, have been forced to forgo some purchases, luxuries and the basic three meals a day.
The Covid-19 pandemic-related economic slowdown must also be tackled and treated with the urgency it deserves to ensure that the economy starts to regenerate faster from the pandemic knock. This would be achieved by providing a better climate for industry and trade to grow and prosper. For a long time, traders have decried high cost of doing business which is fuelled by corruption, unpaid pending bills running into million of shillings, heavy taxation, punitive licensing regime among others challenges.
The huge public debt stock,which soared to Sh8.4 trillion by December last year, must now be tamed. Whatever it takes, a solution to the runaway debt menace is the only logical move to set the stage for economic rejuvenation, coupled with real austerity measures in the public service.
However, for Kenya, the elephant in the room is corruption and weak governance. The new Head of State must deal firmly with corrupt cartels to ensure that tax payers money is used for intended purposes. Only then can the country create opportunities for growth thereby employing millions of youths at the brink of hopelessness.