Here is Why Our Leaders Must Create a Common Front for Economic Growth

On Jan­u­ary 14th while tour­ing Siaya Coun­ty, Pres­i­dent Ruto told Siaya res­i­dents that, “serikali ni serikali ya Kenya, na ni serikali yenu.” This is a Gov­ern­ment for Kenya, this is your Gov­ern­ment. Indeed, the Gov­ern­ment of Kenya belongs to the peo­ple of Kenya, irre­spec­tive of their tribes, reli­gions, class or vot­ing pat­terns. At the helm is a legit­i­mate­ly elect­ed Pres­i­dent and a Gov­ern­ment vot­ed under the law after a detailed due process was applied.

In mid-2021, a Reuters/Ipsos poll revealed that 25 per­cent Amer­i­cans sur­veyed, includ­ing 53% of Repub­li­cans, still believed that Trump was the ‘true pres­i­dent.’ While their delu­sions can’t change the real­i­ty of Biden as Pres­i­dent, they con­tin­ue to widen the divi­sion in Amer­i­ca. Kenya can­not afford to go down this route. We are too young a nation to start becom­ing irrepara­bly divided.

We must there­fore uni­fy our efforts to make Kenya a bet­ter place for all Kenyans. In order to do so, I sug­gest that we do the fol­low­ing four things.

First­ly, we need to step up nation­al cohe­sion efforts and tone down divi­sive rhetoric. Two thou­sand years ago, Apos­tle Peter warned that, ‘who­ev­er would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceit­ful speech.’
It is incum­bent on politi­cians from the rul­ing par­ty and oppo­si­tion to engage in con­struc­tive pol­i­tics. Oppo­si­tion is not ille­gal. So, it fine to hold as many meet­ings as pos­si­ble. The impor­tant con­sid­er­a­tion the lead­ers must make to make is where, why, when, how and with who the meet­ings are being held. I sug­gest that they be sym­pa­thet­ic of the fragili­ty of our soci­ety. The Gov­ern­ment response on the oth­er part must be very mea­sured. We all agree that Kenya needs to heal from the high volt­age emo­tions and stress that come with elec­tions by appeal­ing to the con­science of the peo­ple. I liken my appeal to peo­ple who con­sume alco­hol but chose nev­er to do so in the pres­ence of their children.

Sec­ond­ly, we must speed­i­ly sort out the ongo­ing chal­lenges in the Junior Sec­ondary School (JSS). The Com­pe­ten­cy Based Cur­ricu­lum is no longer the­o­ry and has for sure has exposed the neglect in our schools over the years. We can­not afford to let down the report­ed 1,268,830 learn­ers who enrolled in Grade 6 last year and have now pro­ceed­ed to JSS. Par­ents and var­i­ous stake­hold­ers need clar­i­ty to instill con­fi­dence on the edu­ca­tion sys­tem that they have entrust­ed about 11 Mil­lion chil­dren in the pri­ma­ry schools. It is life threat­en­ing to allow par­ents to feel as if their chil­dren are being used as guinea pigs.
Third­ly, we must solve our press­ing land prob­lems once and for all. The media recent­ly report­ed a sto­ry about Justi­na Mueni, a lady who died in 2005 yet Min­istry of Land records show that she some­how ‘came back to life’ and sold her land in 2007. Clear­ly face­less land cur­tails are back and land tenure is not secure. Land owned by promi­nent peo­ple and the com­mu­ni­ty alike is under attack. The Gov­ern­ment must guar­an­tee the sanc­ti­ty of our title deeds.

Fourth­ly, going by our cur­rent eco­nom­ic sit­u­a­tion, we need every coin there can ever be through col­lec­tion of tax­es and seal­ing of all cor­rup­tion loop­holes. I sug­gest that we do not politi­cize this sub­ject. Sec­tion 201 of our con­sti­tu­tion states that, ‘the pub­lic finance sys­tem shall pro­mote an equi­table soci­ety.’ In that regard, tax­es are indis­pens­able to our col­lec­tive and indi­vid­ual well­be­ing. Cur­rent­ly, our tax rev­enue only accounts for 14 per­cent of the country’s Gross Domes­tic Prod­uct (GDP) yet in most devel­oped coun­tries it accounts for as much as 25 per­cent. Even as we demand for account­abil­i­ty, Pres­i­dent Ruto’s calls to raise our tax rev­enue from Sh2.1 tril­lion to between Sh4‑5 tril­lion is spot on. Our eco­nom­ic inde­pen­dence is direct­ly pro­por­tion­ate to our tax rev­enue. Think green, act green!

About Dr. Kalua Green

He is the Chief Stew­ard of Green Africa Group, a con­glom­er­ate that was envi­sioned in 1991 to con­nect, pro­duce and impact var­i­ous aspi­ra­tions of human­i­ty through Sus­tain­able Mobil­i­ty & Safe­ty Solu­tions, Eco­pre­neur­ship & Agribusi­ness, Ship­ping & Logis­tics, Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Ini­tia­tives, as well as Hos­pi­tal­i­ty & fur­nish­ings sectors

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