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Let Ruto provide true leadership to rescue us from economic woes

Michael Ndonye
 President William Ruto.

The country is headed in the wrong direction because of absolute lies, smokescreen blame games and incompetence among some members of Kenya’s Kwanza administration.

Several inconsistent issues should make President William Ruto call his top administration and tell them to be cleverer when dealing with the now-enlightened Wanjiku.

First, Busia Senator Okiya Omtata’s claims that the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum sneaked the Sh17 billion into the 2022/23 budget, which was later withdrawn from the Consolidated Fund, is joining the dots unless the government proves him otherwise.

Second, Government spokesperson Isaac Mwaura lied to Kenyans that during the unplanned ‘green holiday’, we planted 150 million trees. This is only possible in a country that has not moved to Junior secondary school of literacy. We ask who planted our trees because that number translates to 3 trees per every Kenyan: the old, the hospitalised, the children and whatnot.

Third and least, there is a volleyball between the national and county governments regarding whether Sh10 billion was sent to counties to deal with the ongoing El Nino rains outcomes. In the meantime, El Nino rains are ravaging some parts of Kenya. Citizens are displaced, and others dying.

If the government can be this opaque on our face, what can it do behind our backs? Kenya’s Kwanza government was elected amid crises. Kenyans refused the endorsee of then incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta because they needed change — we say change is as good as a rest.

Dr William Ruto was not elected president because he was brilliant — he was elected because situations favoured him.  Kenyans were confronted with rising prices of goods and services, mismanagement of their money, evident corruption, arrogance of state officials and absolute disregard for their situation. Amid these crises, no one could believe that Uhuru, who could not offer adequate solutions himself, could get it done through his endorsee.

Ruto had some advantages. First, he was considered an outsider, though technically an insider. He disagreed with Uhuru’s government narrative that the cost of living was mounting because of global factors beyond government control.

He, for example, said the oil prices had no relationship with the Ukraine-Russia war, and that’s precisely what Kenyans wanted to hear. It made Uhuru’s government look like a visitor from the moon.

Desperate Kenyans on August 8th went on the ballot to both vote Uhuru (the status quo) out and seek a seemingly relieving alternative for their already biting economic hardship.

Kenyans hoped for a country whose foundation is God — justice. Why God? Because it is only God who treats all his creation with an unparalleled sense of justice.

The closest a human leader can come to God is to think and care about his subjects — Nicollo Machiavelli says when people elect a leader, they expect the burden of oppression to reduce.

For example, oppression through taxation in all its forms and manifestations goes down to having citizens work like slaves for a pittance. Over-taxation reduces a country to working for a pittance, and as Karl Max would say, that is the lowest form of dehumanisation.

Most Kenyans own no other factor of production apart from their labour. When almost all fruits of such labour are taken away in form of taxes, and some few people in the administration are stealing it, misappropriating it and making deals meant to increase the weight of the yoke, it becomes extremely dehumanising. As much as Kenyans should understand that they must pay taxes to sustain a government, the government also must invest the money entrusted to them for future relief.

In conclusion, Kenyans swore in William Ruto as president, granting him the power to rule over them and their affairs. The president should demonstrate leadership through transparency in all its forms and manifestations.

He was given the leadership to offer solutions and not to oversee deals that threaten to throw citizens into more bottomless pits of servitude. I rest my case!

Writer is a Senior lecturer at Kabarak University

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