Today, I wish to address four challenges as part of setting the national agenda for 2019.
It does not require an economics genius to see that all is not well with our economy. We are hurting.
The debt ratio to our GDP will be unmanageable. Most of the listed companies are issuing profit warnings, the rate of employment has not improved, businesses are downsizing and SMEs are folding.
Worst of all, the country is in an unsustainable deep debt hole. We have recorded the highest debt in Kenya’s history, yet the Government continues its unbridled borrowing, without clear focus on the purpose of borrowing, or proper accountability on such borrowed funds.
In 2019 we will be seeking full disclosure on the current loan status.
The President’s public declaration to fight corruption is welcome. We encourage him to walk the talk and intensify the crackdown with the promised lifestyle audits of State and public officials.
But the recently unravelled scandals and corruption are daunting.
Let the efforts of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations and Office of Director of Public Prosecutions not go to waste out of fear of losing political friends. Indeed, it is better to lose such friends and regain the country.
We have noted with keen concern attempts by both the Executive and the Legislature to arm-twist the Judiciary variously through thinly veiled verbal innuendo as well as starvation of funds in budgetary allocations. This must stop. We will fastidiously watch out against these practices in 2019.
As we discuss matters restructuring the governance structure, the issue of mainstreaming women should be prioritised. The two-third-gender principle cannot be wished away. It is part of our law. Nor can we run away from it by revising the law to throw away this principle.
Before we cross the referendum bridge, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) as currently constituted is incompetent and untrustworthy to conduct the said referendum.
In 2019, let us have an accurate population census to ensure just and fair economic planning and development. A rigged census will continue to perpetuate the economic and political injustices.
Let us make 2019 a year of stimulating change.