Mr President, Kenyans Can Still Survive Without External Debt
President Uhuru Kenyatta should make one more trip out of the country and go see 92-year-old Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. Mahathir will tell him all he needs to know about the downside of Chinese loans and its ‘debt-trap Diplomacy. After talking to Mahathir, Uhuru will hopefully return a much changed man.
Uhuru will also need to reconsider his Big 4 Agenda. There is simply no money to fund the Big 4 Agenda. The opposition ODM MPs have already called on him to discard the Big 4 Agenda as his legacy and devote his tenure to fighting corruption which is stinking to higher heavens.
The era of mega projects for prestige and glamour is fading fast as we race into bankruptcy. We can neither live on nor build with borrowed money. Let us cut our coat according to our size. Let us build even small projects with the little we have but it will be ours. If all Uhuru wants is to leave behind a good legacy, let him put this country on an even keel. It is in a mess owing to corruption in public service.
Let him stamp out corruption. That would be his biggest legacy. Let him once again make services that have collapsed start functioning smoothly. Let him go to Galana – Kulalu irrigation scheme and make sure that it produces the targeted 20 million bags of produce instead of 40,000 bags. Let him go and rescue the medical goods worth billions that were donated to Kenya but are held by Kenya Revenue Authority for duty and will expire anytime. Let him go to such places like Tiaty in Baringo with army engineers and
NYS and build decent classrooms for pupils learning under trees. Let him lead water engineers to such pastoral areas where pupils have been photographed going dangerously down into dry wells for water and build them boreholes.
Let him provide plots of land and contract Almar Ltd, builders of containerized and prefab houses, to build container housing units for police. Let him go lead repairs on potholes and ensure there is water in our taps. Cut down your expenses. Kenya has become a ‘debt-holic’ nation. The government has become a compulsive borrower.
Trim your expenses and live within your budget. And therein is your legacy.
Mr Malicha is a commentator on Public Policy and Governance issues.