Investors Diary

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Bad Politics to Blame for our Woes

Since independence, Kenya has enjoyed relative calm and many of its 42 tribes co-existed well. This happened against a backdrop of bickering, infighting and politically instigated uprisings accross the continent. Indeed, Kenya has been an island of peace in the sea of political turmoil.

The advent of multiparty democracy in Kenya saw the widening of the democratic space and with it came the increase freedom of expression. The media that had been strangled and gagged for a long time rejuvenated and reemerged with a renewed gusto to delve into issues bedevilling the country in a suscint, blunt and unwavery way.

As the media industry in Kenya grew by leaps and bounds, many became more informed on the goings-on in the political, social, and the business arena. The populace had now become greatly abreast with the issues affecting their lifes many bordering on bad governance, inherent grand corruption and blatant looting of public resource. This unending tirade of grand corruption has its epicenter in the ills of the Kenyatta administration that grabbed massive junks of public land alongside haemorrhaging of public assets and resources.

The unveiling of the Moi administration was seen as a ray of hope and light at the end of the tunnel on issues reform. Many were optimistic and expectant of radical shift in the paradigms that begat our leadership. Sadly however, hardly had the administration sat in office than another sweeping indictment of the administration was revealed. The cases of mega corruption had now been given a thrust and its tentacles now spread far and wide as public officers, cognizant of the public servants code of ethics, defiantly diverted public resources to private use.

The corruption that had eaten into every facet of the Moi administration was epitomized in the Goldenberg scandal that saw the country loose Billions in imports compensation.
Fast forward to 2002 and the political climate was so charged after exit of the hallowed baba Moi. Many including those in his inner circle didnot take kindly his open support of project Uhuru, then an amarteur in politicalspeak. This latter saw a wave of rebellion in government leading to the formation of the Rainbow Coalition and eventually NARC that resounding took power away from the party of the Cockerel-KANU with its project that was no match to the machinery of 'yote yawezekana'.

The unveiling of the Kibaki administration lend credence to the hope of fighting corruption as hundreds of thousands thronged the Uhuru Park to celebrate the resounding victory against the metaphoric Mugumo tree.

Theafter, and in a sudden change of events, the administration was dogged by the Anglo Leasing scam that encaptioned payments to fictitious companies through promissory notes. Sadly therefore, the administration had become an embodiment of corruption that tainted its leadership and the ghost still haunts some of them until today.

The administration oblivious of the resolve of its populace, and the resilience of their will went into the ballot again in 2007 for a second term though some of its members had ditched camp during the referendum to form the Orange Democratic Movement, ODM, that became such a force to reckon with upto the ballot.
Hordes of Kenyans turned up in large numbers to cast their vote though the tribal equation was now more evident than before.

The results became such a close game to call and each party was expectant of a resounding victory. As the results were announced Kibaki had 'won' and this did not augur well with the other camp that marshalled its troops for countrywide mass action that latter blurgeoned into full blow violence now famously know as the Post Election Violence. Several months latter over a thousand had died, several injured and hundreds of thousands displaced and became the Internally Displaced Persons.

Indeed, quite sadly and unprecedented, politics had wrecked havoc in our country and the effects are still being felt.
As the country reels from this unfortunate events, businesses have sufferred immensely as the economy was dealt a major blow. Further our risk assessment internationally was alterred and Foreign Direct Investment significantly reduced.

The stock market is at its lowest ebb and sadly it is a victim, a pawn in this roller coster called politics.

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