National Treasury operations are killing businesses and destroying jobs


National Treasury. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

The election agency may not have officially declared the campaign season, but electioneering for next year’s contest is in full swing.

Leading presidential candidates are touring different parts of the country, while candidates for the other elective posts are waiting to see where the wind will blow in their regional politics. I have commented before on what policies Wanjiku wants. So today I will ask: What policies should political and economic elites ask for?

This question is particularly relevant for regions that will be considered “swing” in 2022. Among these, the "swingiest" will be Mt Kenya region.

Led by Hon Martha Karua and other regional luminaries, Mt Kenya elites have vowed to present a united ask of presidential candidates in exchange for their support. It is my hope that the intra-elite deal-making will go beyond positions in government (where one can be fired from) to include sound policy deliverables.

Everyone involved should always remember that a thriving economy obviates reliance on State House largesse. To that end, here are the two things that elites throughout the country should absolutely insist on.

First, deeper fiscal devolution and efficient flow of cash in the economy. No more pending Bills in the hundreds of billions. No more delays in cash disbursements to the counties or the Treasury illegally moving funds around in secret.

Beyond corruption, Treasury’s basic incompetence in managing cash flow is a major stumbling block to efficient economic activity. In addition to disrupting public service provision, it is killing businesses and destroying jobs. Enough is enough.

Second, a serious national developmental policy backed by sound research and an economic and social council created by statute. No more tenderpreneur-driven policymaking on the fly.

We are a ten trillion-shilling economy and it is about time we started acting like one. We want an economy that runs on a predictable and sensible policy environment, not the erratic mess that Jubilee has served us over the last eight years.

 The writer is an Assistant Professor at Georgetown University  

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