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Opposition wrong in threatening to cancel Jubilee project deals

By The Standard | Published Fri, May 19th 2017 at 00:00, Updated May 18th 2017 at 21:45 GMT +3


A combination of politics and poor fiscal management has created an ideal climate for an election year to both sides of the political divide. Where corruption is concerned, the Jubilee government has been moving from crisis to crisis.

Despite public outcry, there have been little or no signs at all that the Government is committed to slaying the dragon of corruption. On paper, the economy is performing, having grown by 5.8 per cent last year, but the effects are yet to be felt by the common man whose economics are really very simple; an affordable cost of living, the ability to feed, clothe and educate their children.

Reports by the Auditor General on the usage of public funds at both the national and county government levels paint a dismal picture of an economy being mismanaged by a few individuals hell-bent on enriching themselves. Amid the cacophony this has generated as the Opposition tries to score off the Government, the latter is adamant all is well and on course.

The Government proudly states it has built roads, the SGR, started free maternity services, given laptops to primary school pipils, connected millions of homes to electricity and paid national examination fees for all learners in primary and secondary schools. All these projects cost money. This therefore means Jubilee has to borrow heavily to make these projects a reality.

The Opposition, however, is not impressed. It has been decrying Jubilee’s high borrowing at every opportunity. There seems to be a general belief within the Opposition that the Government is out to saddle Kenyans with loans (estimated at trillions of shillings) that largely end up in some individuals’ pockets. The current grain shortage is blamed on Jubilee, but the Government has moved to redeem itself by acting on soaring maize flour prices. A lot still remains undone.

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The Opposition risks losing favour by approaching campaigns from a point of bitterness. It is injudicious to start threatening to cancel deals that Jubilee has entered into with foreign governments. Surely, there must be projects that have benefited Kenyans. If at some point misdemeanour is established, punishing the concerned, rather than cancelling deals, would be the way to go.

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