By Dr. David Nyekorach- Matsanga
Kenya is faced with an uphill task of a bloated Wage Bill which any person who has studied first degree in Political Science would say comes from “structural challenges”. I have written this article not as final solution but as part of the debate that has engulfed Kenya in the last two weeks. The “Wage gate saga” that has haunted my beloved brothers in Africa is not only biting Kenyans but most African countries that have refused to look to west only.
Only bad people in the world will hide constructive and positive criticisms from President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy William Ruto. I admire them and the entire Kenyan leadership under President Kenyatta and his deputy President William Ruto. They speak out in Africa like some of do in a crisis. That is how leadership should be in most African countries.
Coming back to the structural challenges, in conflict resolution we call it a “structural conflict” that comes with heavy consequences on the economy or on the politics of any state. This arises when enormous factors and challenges that face governance are not dealt with immediately. President Kenyatta finds himself caught up between a hard legal place and a rock that does not want transformation and reforms in Kenya.
The President must rise up and tackle these structural challenges before they turn into a monster called disillusionment of the masses. A huge wage bill in a nation who’s GDP has not increased since President Kibaki left power in 2013 is dangerous. It could cause serious tension and allow malcontents of regime change called NGOs to subvert a nation. I see a danger where the President faces few “immoral cartels” that have held a country to ransom with never ending corrupt tendering systems.
I will say this without fear of contradiction because my being frank has earned me enemies but also helped those coloured with political amnesia to seek guidance from my many writings that I have authored on similar subjects elsewhere in Africa. Just as I said it in Zimbabwe in 2002 before the economy went burst after imperialists started destroying and demonizing the country with silly sanctions and other economic embargoes, I will say it now that Kenya needs a “holistic structural overhaul strategy”. This will give breathing space for the Jubilee government to be able to stop the gravy train of disaster that has been hatched by western powers on this nation Kenya.
As a lay man I understand that GDP is the measure in change in value of goods and services produced by each country like Kenya which is determined and consumed on the basis of structural factors that are within Kenya and outside Kenya. If the value of the goods produced is poor due to bad structural management which is part of structural challenges within the country, no one will consume goods of such a country outside or in side Kenya or worse still buy them. We need a combination of good factors in order to increase the GDP and wipe out wage bill saga.
Any moderate African country relies on three factors to survive as a nation: loans and grants from World Bank, IMF, Aid /grants from western countries, and Tax collection. From the three items mentioned here the loans and grants from World Bank and IMF always come with stringent conditions and at times these could lead to more confusion. Aid and Grants from donor community comes with several conditions that could lead to regime change mechanisms that the donor syndrome brings with NGOs in Africa. Taxation is the only assured means that Kenya can get its revenue if structural factors are taken into consideration. Does Kenya have the capacity to collect taxes? Is Kenya having structural challenges in tax collection?
If service delivery in all government outlets and inlets are, corrupted by structural challenges, under hands in procurement become a nightmare or bizarre ,, duplicity of workforce, inflated ghost workers , failures in counterfeit services , failure by civil servants on procedure are poor, nobody will such goods. These factors contribute to structural indicators.
I might be wrong but time will exonerate me in history. In 2008 Kenya’s GDP was 6.4% , between 2009 to 2010 8.3% in 2013 last quarter towards 2014 the GDP grew by 4.4% and that is where we are now with figures that Kenya continues use to know which direction the nation is heading. Since 2014 the government and the entire nation has continued to “eat” on the same narrow GDP that has now brought an alarm from a good economist like President Uhuru Kenyatta who had cut down government over spending spree when he was at the Treasury. The current level of wage bill has serious ripple effects bigger than a political Tsunami that has hit many other African countries.
The Treasury Cabinet Secretary will have to tell the nation of Kenya why in 2014 there has not been any increase in production , increase in foreign trade, increase in manufacturing sector, why foreign investments has dwindled and why GDP has not grown. The mismanagement of small GDP left by Kibaki government on less priority projects that benefit few middle class in a tendering nation of Kenya is brought about by structural challenges.
Kenya like South Africa in Africa has become a country of “tenderers instead of entrepreneurs”. The cabinet Secretary whom I respect in terms of over sighting huge expenditure as opposed to increasing revenue for the government might not stand up and give answers to my readers. Kenya will still be faced with insurmountable structural challenges even if huge revenue was collected.
Why I have said so is because in 2013, Kenyans have spent more time and more energy on political showdowns in government itself, from an opposition that wants to oppose everything including death and NGOs that have instructions from foreign masters to derail efforts Jubilee government. The ICC factor which was created by external enemies of the people of Kenya which still muzzles the moral fabric of every citizen of Kenya is another factor that we need to do away soonest.
I welcomed the “National Dialogue” that President Uhuru Kenyatta initiated a few weeks ago as means of resolving some of the contentious challenges that face Kenya. Kenya at the moment needs not Referendum but wider dialogue to avert a catastrophic route that is hurtling to. The nation needs a “fatigue evaluation strategy” that will help the President and Deputy to assess some of the projects that takes them to crisis upon crisis. The country Kenya needs asses as to whether some sections of the constitution and governance issues are hurtling this nation to disillusionment.
I am one of those admirers of President Uhuru Kenyatta on the African continent and I have no regrets as shrewd defender of Pan African dream to like him. It is my choice and therefore freedom of choice is not negotiable. There are many ways of reaching Heaven, there is no single route to Heaven, whether Christian, Moslem, Buddhist, Pagan, only one route is available. That route is structural arrangement and structural contribution to the society that will place you before God.
I believe that Kenyans have a good young Presidency and government that can spur the dream of economic integration and development on the continent of Africa. Kenya needs a look at structural challenges and do a fatigue evaluation that will discuss the question of corruption and morality in its citizens who bloat the wage bill and Kenya will reduce its wage bill. Kenya must look at serious priorities not board room meetings and parties in ministries where cuts MUST start from.
I agree with Deputy President William Ruto when he said tea, newspapers, sodas, will be the thing of the past. These items must not be stored in Government offices in Kenya. If you want tea have a flask and carry some from home to drink for you and your guests. That is what is done in the metros of Europe.
The way forward and solution to the bloated wage bill is for each Cabinet Secretary in Jubilee Government to do a census within two weeks in their portfolios
and know the number of civil servants, workers, what benefit and value do they add to the current system, find out whether there is duplicity of duties, what quality and quantity do they bring to the ministries, what loopholes are used to perpetuate corruption, and finally what structural challenges do the ministries meet in accomplishing tasks.
This will help the President and the nation of Kenya to find long term solutions instead of looking for short term diagnosis of symptoms that have become a” “monster”
to the economy of Kenya.
Thank you in advance,
Dr. David Nyekorach- Matsanga
Chairman / CEO
+254723312564 – Kenya