LUO KITGI GI
Michael Mundia Kamau
P.O. Box 58972
00200 City Square
26th November 2003
All factors considered, the announcements of donor funding resumption
to Kenya by the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and 25
multilateral donors, comes as very pleasant news to a battered nation
grappling with insolvency. The National Rainbow Coalition (NARC),
certainly relish in this moment of glory in the face of skepticism that
forecast it’s downfall by June 2003. The much needed impetus that NARC
needed to roll
out it’s grand reform plans are now forthcoming, and in many ways,
NARC’s reign begins now.
Despite NARC’s first bumpy year in power, it still enjoys a tremendous
amount of goodwill. Victory in two by-elections held on 19th November
attest to this fact. It is vital that NARC harnesses this goodwill, as
it will be the driving force behind the certain momentum that awaits
the country in the
coming year. It is also vital that NARC takes an early opportunity to
release a detailed manifest of the anticipated changes and how they
shall affect the
people of this country. Finance minister, David Mwiraria, was very
elated when he announced that the pledges made by the donors exceeded
provided for in his June 2003. Minister Mwiraria requires to go a step
further and give a detailed explanation to the public of the intended
use of the monies.
NARC also regrettably appears to have withheld vital information from
the public in the run up to the successful talks on the resumption of
aid. The government should have made it clear that sweeping
socio-economic reforms were in the offing. A new wave of civil service
staff redundancies are slated for the coming year in the face of
uncertainty and numerous pending issues from past similar redundancies.
Media reports also indicate that government subsidies on
agricultural inputs are to be removed and that import controls on
maizemail and sugar, are to be relaxed. This is a double blow to the
crucial farming sector in
this country. Information on how NARC intends to address this new
development is extremely important and needed forthwith.
The irony of the unfolding developments is that they shall be most
painful to those that voted for NARC the most. This wicked turn of
events presents the
difficult and precarious situation that NARC now finds itself in. The
footing that NARC began on will certainly haunt it’s efforts in these
trying circumstances. On the 20th of February 2003 members of
parliament voted themselves hefty general pay increments in the midst
of general hardship and misery. No effort by triumphant NARC or the
vanquished Kenya African National Union (KANU), was made to reverse
this peculiar decision. Interestingly, the unjustifiable salary
increment was the first item of discussion for the newly constituted
On a different front, the country’s chief executive President Mwai
Kibaki, is slowly but surely laying out his intended technocratic
approach to governance. For many years prior to his presidency, he was
playfully nicknamed “General Kigoiya” (a coward), but has over the
months quickly taken the role of General Haraka, the ruthless,
assertive and combative Mau Mau military General in Meja Mwangi’s epic
novel “Carcass for Hounds”. At a service marked at Nairobi’s St.
Stephen’s church on 8th September 2003, President Kibaki made it clear
that he was the chief executive of the country, and would not allow for
the establishment of a parallel office of an executive prime minister.
Two months later on 20th November 2003, President Kibaki issued a stern
warning to a section of the transport sector that was staging a strike,
by stating that they would abide by the law like everyone else. This
prompted a hasty retreat and an end to the strike. It was also a clear
statement of President Mwai Kibaki’s authority.
President Kibaki’s technocratic and detached style of governance is
proving effective no doubt, but harmony needs to be created and
loopholes sealed. President Kibaki needs to explain for instance, why
he did not marshall his party against the insensitive salary increment
for and by members of parliament. The MP’s salary increment cannot be
described as technocratic nor political nor prudent, but as pure greed.
President Kibaki also needs to explain why he deemed it necessary to
make a high profile visit to opposition leaning Kiambu district, on 1st
November 2003, when he is yet to make numerous similar trips to
several pro-NARC, pro-government districts. Was the Kiambu trip
technocratic or political, and what signal is President Kibaki sending
to the numerous people in
this country who voted for him and NARC ?
All eyes are on President Kibaki and his government following the
resumption of donor funding to Kenya. We can only hope that President
Kibaki and his government also have all eyes on the Kenyan people as we
go through this crucial transition period.
Michael Mundia Kamau
Ka in gi mari moro ma di wandik ka to
Akelo nyar Kager
Daher winjo dwondi in bende,
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