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Forget about a revolution, economy can’t sustain one

By Clay Muganda | April 18th 2021

Kenyans have been angry for so long it is difficult to remember if ever there was a time they could afford a smile. Afford is the operative word, and that is mostly the cause of their collective anger nowadays.

The economy is so bad and all basic needs are almost unaffordable. Many Kenyans cannot afford decent lifestyles and smiles, so their long and forlorn faces are understandable.

Some people can crack the old boring joke that Kenyans are so broke that they cannot even pay attention. Jokes aside, and truth be told, Kenyans rarely pay attention — it is not easy to be attentive in an ecosystem where prices of goods and services are skyrocketing while the economy is crumbling.

But the economy did not start tanking yesterday or when coronavirus cases started rising as Kenyans are being made to believe by their leaders. Prices have been rising steadily.

Remember when funds earmarked for infrastructure projects such as dams started sinking into bottomless pockets of well-connected individuals? It was several years ago, long before the scam was unearthed.

The cost of the biggest infrastructure project in Kenya’s modern history was being inflated long before warnings were given that what was to be built was a brand new vintage mode of transport.

Economists said it would not carry, or move towards growth and prosperity, the weight of Kenya’s sinking economy, but no one wanted to listen.

The indefatigable and forever insufferable Government of Kenya wanted to listen to only its own opinion. The leaders were in an echo chamber, an impregnable concrete tunnel akin to ones through which their overpriced iron snake was to pass at stages where the track was not elevated as if to signify the project’s needlessly high cost.

While the costs of the projects were being inflated and funds for dams flowing into individuals’ bank accounts, not all Kenyans were in agreement that they were to be the biggest losers.

Some of them were convinced that their leaders in government were on the right track, all the way from Mombasa to wherever they were supposed to join the bandwagon and ride to hopelessness and despondency.

There was a group that was talking of a revolution but their voices were drowned out, not only by the clanking of wheels of a train to nowhere but by their own noises.

Everyone wanted to be heard, and in the end, no one could hear the other, and politicians liked that confusion because it gave them cover to fleece the country and create a bandit economy.

At the end of it all, they used their loot to buy off the noisy ones who wanted change. So, nothing much has changed though.

The noise is still there, only louder and the economy has sunk deeper so much so that those who want change are busy looking for ways to survive or stuffing their mouths with proceeds of the bandit economy.

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