Followers

Monday, March 26, 2007

Kimunya's Propaganda Train

Over the weekend, Finance Minister Amos Kimunya made a presentation at the Kenya Diaspora Investment Forum in Atlanta, Georgia. Though the Minister's presentation is not available online, Hash has helpfully posted pictures of the Minister's slide show, which he describes as "stirring". After reviewing these, and without the benefit of hearing the Minister's verbal explanations (I hope these were recorded and will be available online at some point) here are my initial reactions. I find it less than impressive.

After painting a rosy picture of our economy under Kibaki, Kimunya drops this bombshell without bothering to explain: "Some have argued that the recent growth momentum is due to a change in the way GDP has been calculated. This cannot be supported by the facts." Why not give updated figures figures for Mo1's tenure using the new calculations? Then we can all make up our own minds.

Further on, regarding the fight against poverty, agricultural reforms, increases in government revenue collection, increased expenditure in health, education and water provision, higher disbursements under LATF and CDF are presented as if they are ends in themselves. Their impact on rural poverty is hardly discussed except for vacuous statements such as "The strong rebound in growth of the agricultural sector has impacted positiely on rural incomes where most of the poor Kenyans live."

The economic decay Kenya experienced over the last 40 years was largely due to kleptocratic and incompetent governance. However, the Kibaki administration efforts in this regard merited only one out of the 33 slides presented by the Minister. And that single slide is also full of meaningless generalisations. Though he claims to have "taken administrative actions to reduce corruption in public sector", no mention is made of any concrete achievements in the fight against corruption (to be fair to the gentleman, there have been none). Introduction of legislation is again presented as an end in itself as is "creating anti-corruption awareness".

In spite of the glaring omissions, the Minister goes on to declare: "We have accomplished what we set out to do under the Economic Recovery Strategy." God help us! Perhaps most telling is this quote from the presentation (again courtesy of Hash):
“Compare the size of the windshield to the the size of the rearview mirror. Let that tell us what we should be paying attention to.”
In essence, the minister is urging us to judge the government's performance, not by what it has accomplished, but by what it is promising.

As for the much vaunted Vision 2030, my take on this can be found here, here, and here.

52 comments:

joe said...

You know gathara this is the reason why i attack your blog .why is it you can never give props where props are due .Did you even attend the meeting GA is a long way from kariobangi.WHIE AFRICAN AND OTHERKENYANS HAVE GIVEN PROPS .i guess we who are not exposed to cheap odm politics know the facts and the fiction .

Gathara said...

Joe,
I clearly stated that I got the info on the presentation from Hash's blog. My critique is based on that. If you have some more info to add to what he had posted, feel free to do so.

Nothing in your comment has highlighted why "props are due". But that is no surprise. Empty threats and unthinking support for all things Kibaki has long been your forte.

PS
If you actually took the time to read my blog, you would see that I am no ODM supporter.

Irena said...

Your title is total absurd! There was no propaganda in any of the presentation and facts. I personally attended the Waashington DC Forum and for you to critique somehting that you were not part of is total ignorance. This was not one of those ODM political stance nor was Kimunya trying to get any votes and per his comments " My voters are in kipiriri and I do not need your votes". This was a matter of investment presentation/opportunities that are available in Kenya and nothing to it. If you are not part of it then you cannot critique based on someone else observation. I was there and thus I stand to criticize your entry!

For once can't you see something positive and energizing that is happening in Kenya instead of dwelling in cheap politics that are not based on the real issue.
ODM or no ODM supporter, Kenya is heading in the right direction and it is time some of us Kenyans opened our eyes instead of looking for something to point finger at and as I always say, what are you doing for Kenya rather than airing your disappointments on blogs. What innovations are you working on that could somehow saidia in building the country?

joe said...

1.Gathara the Government can not feed you and your children.
Government only provides an enabling environment for you to do that .kibaki and kimunya are providing that environment.

2.Critizing just for the sake of it is pathetic.Even when the government is out here trying to get foreign investments .Gathara thinks kimunya is here campaigning.kimunya is here to promote investment in kenya not politicking .kenyans abroad wont vote but they do invest and that is where kimunya is coming from. (key word he is here attracting direct foreign investment to kenya he is not here to sell kibaki or partisan politics).

3.It is shameful that kenyan sitting in nairobi can rush to castigate the finance minister for trying to woo direct investment from kenyans abroad .gathara would rather have kimunya in britain begging for foreign aid .

Not everything that the kibaki government does is wrong and not everything that the opposition does is bad either .We have to move to a more mature way of looking at issues without being caught up in petty pesa nane siasa .Kimunya is here for all kenyans including you gathara and your ODM fRIENDS .

Direct foreign investments benefit all kenyans .

Surely Gathara you can appreciate Kimunya’s plan is better than him begging for foreign aid.But then again ODM and its supporters (neo colonial homeguards) are only after the intrests of your foreign backers/masters .

Gathara said...

Joe and Irena,
If you think any of the criticisms I have levelled are unfair, I would love for you to point them out and explain why. I have been quite specific about what I thought was objectionable in the Minister's presentation.

BTW, we criticise "based on someone else observation" all the time. We rely on others to report from places we do not wish to (or cannot) visit to see for ourselves. In the past, such people were called reporters and they published their "observations" in newspapers. (Nowadays, they have been joined by a new breed called bloggers.) If we were to follow your logic, very few people would ever voice an opinion.

By the way Irena, according to Job Obonyo, during the Washington Conference that you claimed to have attended Kimunya said that "in the unlikely event that Kibaki loses re-election, all these economic gains will go up in smoke".

Now if that's not propaganda, what is?

Irena said...

Mr.Gathara , let me point this out to you in plain English! I do not claim to have attended, I was there and at very close proximity to the speaker to know that there were no such words( " in the unlikely event that Kibaki loses re-election, all these economic gains will go up in smoke".)were uttered by Mr. Kimunya but rather are being misqouted by Mr. Obondo when the minister was responding to the question of sustainability of economic growth asked by a lady at the back of the room. Mr. Obondo insinuations are sad but (I can describe her in the tabloid manner, what she was wearing etc to proof to you I was in attendance which BTW I do not care if you believe me or not).
It is a shame you are busy usingother people observation to make make your entry in your so called new generation of bloggers style but if you are as concerned about the happenings in Kenya,perhaps you should have asked your sources to record it so as to stop the nuisance of "hearsay" style of reporting!

P/S There is nothing for me to engage you with or susbstantiate what Joe has already pointed out unlike you I feel no need to waste time explaining what is as I subscribe to the mantra of "actions speaks louder than words"- I'm busy doing my part to make Kenya great, I'm optimistic about my country, I love my country, will call a spade a spade not a big spoon when it is deserved and better yet "najivunia kuwa mkenya" and will not just trash my country nor do I waste time engaging in baseless criticisms! Peace and I'm out!

Frugal African said...

Interesting opinions here Gathara. Others can't seem to get enough of you.

Yeah there's too much hot air in Kenyan politics with little substance - hence understandably impossible to separate the Minister from propaganda.
Hard for some to accept it I can see that.

Gathara said...

Irena,
I see nothing in your comments that seeks to convince me that my criticisms were either baseless or unfair. (By the way, as I have stated severally, my article was based on the pics Hash put up on his blog. I hope you are not insinuating that he made them up!)

Criticising a public official is not the same thing as trashing one's country.

In the first paragraph of my post, I did express my hope that the Minister's full presentation would be posted online. Failing that, I have to rely on reports from people who claim (as you yourself do) that they attended the conferences or were privy to the discussions there. Imperfect as that is, it is the only thing I have for now.

Now that you and Obonyo seem to disagree on what was said in Washington, I wish someone else who was there would step forward and clear up the issue. Or at least that a transcript of the proceedings would be made available.

Frugal African,
I second that!

joe said...

Irena i couldnt agreee with you more.sometimes i blame it on exposure.some kenyans think that because they read standard and watch ktn then they know everything about politics and policy .Forgeting that they too have a part to play in nation building.

i dont even know why we should argue about the economy .Raila's hummer is enough evidence that the economy is booming . how else could the hon afford a 40 million ksh car !(a wink and a smile)

Gathara said...

Joe,
If the fact that some politician could afford a Hummer (which actually costs less than Kshs 4M) is your yardstick for "booming" economic growth, then I can understand why you would defend a record as modest as Kibaki's. You just don't know any better.

Irena said...

"I see nothing in your comments that seeks to convince me that my criticisms were either baseless or unfair. (By the way, as I have stated severally, my article was based on the pics Hash put up on his blog. I hope you are not insinuating that he made them"

Why should I? when you seem to have all the answers from your sources MR. Obondo and co. What I think is unfair is when you come up with the notion that was a propaganda? And for whom?

When you say that , you are insulting the Kenyans in diaspora intelligence that we need to be fed by some minister wrong information so we can support GOK and dismiss the opposition. What you are trying to say that we need some minister to come and tell us what is going in Kenya as if we do not know how to read newspapers, as if some of us are not economists, some of us have done extensive research on the subject presented to us, as if some of us do not know macroand micro economics and its workings and as if some of us do not have our parents in the same country who can attest to the economic growth rate/indicators that are all so apparent. All those Kenyans present in DC where I was are intelligent and if they thought it was some sort of government promotion I do not think they would waste their evening after a hard work day to come listen to made up stories. They would not have travelled all the way from Pittsburgh, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Delaware etc to listen to some BS. Yes information travels fast and after the presentation in California, I bet that is why we had an overflow room in JW Marriot on Pennsylvania Avenue because of the positive message that the Minister and his team delivered. Do not forget we in Diaspora know how to distinguish between sensational/political agendas of some of the teams that visit us and those who have something important to tell us.

Yes I saw Flickr photos from Hash and too bad he was not here to take photos because I was strategically positioned.

@Joe - Thank you!!Keep telling it as it is.


P/S This is the first time I have commented on your blog so for whoever think I have abone to pick with you, they are mistaken...

Anonymous said...

aren't these two different events that people area talking about?(but from a same person)

hash's was in Georgia and the one Irena is talking about in DC?

joe said...

OK gathara let me be fair and give you a chance to explain .your blogs says kimunya'spropaganda train ...ok maybe i am wrong tell me and others what propaganda kimunya spread that those who attended did not catch but you caught in nairobi.

ps. the message given by kimunya in different cities is the same so that escapism ati it was two different events wont work .it was the same message!

gathara i humbly wait to hear from you . you know i could be wrong am open to hear your side

mwangi said...

Gathara:

Symptomatic of the bipolar nature of Kenyan politics presently, I would put my neck on the chopping block that you would choose the devil over Kibaki. I have no beef with that. You are entirely entitled to an opinion. But you are standing on quicksand on this one ...

You deliberately obfuscate a simple issue with a cleverly concocted combination of generalization and "imagery".

Oops ... did I say imagery? The way you describe Kimunya's presentation, I think you must have secretly unlocked the secrets of telekinetic transportation. You see, I happen to have attended Mr. Kimunya's presentation, and I have to report that YOU ARE NOT MAKING MUCH SENSE.

"After painting a rosy picture of the Kenyan Economy"

Now, with the above statement, you are actually confirming that the Kenyan economic outlook is indeed rosy. You see, you were not there. You clearly state that you don't have the "benefit of hearing the minister's verbal explanation." It is trivial to conclude therefore, that the adjective "rosy" is your descripion of the Kenyan economy GIVEN THE PICTURES AVAILABLE...

But you see, those pictures did not appear magically. They were generated from data, raw facts and figures giving rise to immaculate trendlines and bar graphs. So if you have beef with the pictures, it means you have beef with the data, which means you are implying that the data is doctored, which further means that you are privy to the data collection methodology, sanitisation to account for bias, endogeneity, et cetera. It doesn't end there, it also means that you have followed [or know someone who has] the same data analysis techniques and come up with an entirely different set of "pictures" that is not as "rosy"

That is the burden of prooof on you. That is why IRENA is correct in labelling your accusations "baseless and unfair". You do not subject yourself to the same rigorous burden of proof that you are demanding of Irena. Your declaration that "I have been quite specific about what I thought was objectionable in the Minister's presentation" is just hot air. Your promulgations are riddled with conjecture and closet agendas. I wish you'd open it ...

I am not done.


Then you quote:

"Some have argued that the recent growth momentum is due to a change in the way GDP has been calculated"

You also have the temerity to ask for "updated figures for Moi's regime and compare ..." This latter part is borderline treason. I hope you can stand next to a mirror and look yourself in the eye, while repeating "figures from Moi's tenure" without getting embarrrased.

You seem to support the notion of "another way of computing GDP" Do you know of any? Huh? Talk about being specific. The picture is there for you to refute. Do you have any objections to any of the variables? The positive trends?


Virtually every paragraph in your article is pure misrepresentation. I could easily attack each, but there is no point. In the meantime, when people tell you THEY WERE THERE, that they SAW THE PICTURES and HEARD THE WORDS live, it is an insult to their intelligence to purport to know more, 10,000 miles away, with but the aid of a few slides. It's better you wait to attack the minister akirudi, you'll be more believable that way.

Otherwise, we are on homeground, and continued guesswork will leave your credibility in tatters ...

Gathara said...

Irena,
Politicians insult Kenyans' intelligence on an almost daily basis. People here flock to their rallies and press conferences to listen to the same BS you were treated to in the US.

Joe,
Propagandists rely on half truth and deception to sucker people into adopting the required position. My post simply points out the half-truths in the Minister's presentation. Again, I see nothing in the comments section that even attempts to refute what I have said.

Mwangi,
Of course I have beef with the data. READ THE POST! Quoting paragraphs out of their proper context does your argument(such as it is) a great disservice.

It is the Minister who presumes to compare Kibaki's tenure with that of Moi in a blatant attempt to burnish the former's credentials (check the slides if you do not believe me). But the comparisons would obviously be flawed if he is using two different methods to calculate the data.

FACT: The Kibaki government did change the way our GDP is calculated. The minister himself alludes to this. Then he makes the sweeping statement you have quoted without providing an explanation (at least not on his slides).

I am no Moi apologist, but if the government claims that things have improved, I expect clear and unambiguous evidence. If it is "borderline treason" to demand that public servants get their facts straight, then I proudly wear that badge. Generalisations and vacuous statements do not cut it for me.

Anonymous said...

It appears gathara raised specific issues which mwangi, irena and joe...have ACTUALLY NOT addressed to the level needed to rebut gathara's statements and accusations. i have witnessed gathara being specific...even though he may still be wrong...while the other side provide lack of specificity and avoid the key matters raised by gathara. Its plain illogical to simply argue that not having being at the venue is enough reasoning to nullify gathara's statements.....!!!! why not treat each of those specific points and prove them one way or the other???

Gathara said...

Anon,
The emptiness of their rhetoric is transparent to most. As you noted, none of them have bothered with the specific issues raised in my post.

Mwangi, for example, indulges in a bit of shameless contextomy. They all set up straw-man arguments (such as "For once can't you see something positive and energizing that is happening in Kenya instead of dwelling in cheap politics that are not based on the real issue"; and "gathara would rather have kimunya in britain begging for foreign aid "; and "So if you have beef with the pictures, it means you have beef with the data, which means you are implying that the data is doctored, which further means that you are privy to the data collection methodology, sanitisation to account for bias, endogeneity, et cetera").

These they then proceed to demolish with glee in the deluded assumption that they are thus refuting my arguments.

joe said...

Stop over intellectualizing issues gathara .the reason i havent been specific is because i still dont get your arguement. what propaganda are you on about !

as for indicators i think the macro and micro economic realities on the ground point to growth . the fact that gatharas hosehold or otienos house hold is not doing well finacial does not mean that the economy is not growing !

Irena said...

@Gathara , yes I'm sure they do insult Kenyans intelligence( like insulting your constituency with a brand hummer while they are wallowing in poverty kinda of insult ..right?) but Mr. Kimunya with his presentation was not one of those . I will not sit here and go through the % growth rate, expound on trickle down effects( which of course naive people would not see unless you explain in simple economics like the analogy of booming tourism and the baley farmer, fruits farmer etc..if you were there or Mr.Obondo would have heard that part of explanation of trickle down effect which I do not find on his page) and what have you to look smart,nor will I tackle specific issues/concerns that you have raised because clearly as Mwangi said all that was explained in plain "basic economics" for all to understand even those with no Economics 101.

I repeat I will not take the power point presentation on the growth trend on fiscal year 2002-2005 and explain that to you since I assume you are an inteligent chap who can analyze that on your own. As Mwangi said, this is raw data and GDP formula calculated as it should using all the variables that are used by the World bank and other organizations and if that is not enough , I dunno what is.

To me, I applaud the minister and his team for pointing out the direction that Kenya is going. I was glad to hear of all the areas that I could invest in and inject money to our economy and a big NO , it was not just NSE or REAL Estate markets that was talked of. So for me who is not on the ground to asses the possibilites that Amaranthus( terere) is an area I could invest in , create a few jobs while I'm at it then to me that was productive evening and that was not insulting my intelligence but rather boosting it!

mwangi said...

@ Gathara: Which method was priory used? Which method is being used? It is not enough to say the methodology was changed? To what? These are the specifics I am talking about.


"It is the Minister who presumes to compare Kibaki's tenure with that of Moi in a blatant attempt to burnish the former's credentials..."

I have seen the slides. Tell me that slide x of y is aimed at achieving the above. Don't just say check out the slides. You know which one it is ...


Respond to these two issues with specifics and I will show you how why I think you are wrong.

Irena said...

@Anonymous - My argument is the "propaganda forum" as Gathara put it not the specific issues he raised. He can interprete the information from photographs the way he wishes and I have no time to explain the figures presented or go into details on what is GDP, what constitutes GDP, what are the leading and lagging indicators, what the government has or has not done ,after all I'm in Diaspora and my argument would be very subjective since I would rely on information from second source but in this case I was there first hand to listen to the economic growth explanation and various investment instruments which if Gathara was not too quick to jump on, will be available on the Kenyan Embassy website and thus we can go and tackle the issue one by one as you wish

3N said...

I am not sure if this is an advantage or disadvantage but I was at the DC forum.

Secondly, English is still my 3rd or 4th language and I do not intend to engage in overanalyzing and intellectualizing what should be a simple and logical debate.

Mr. Gathara, if you argue that Kimunya was on a propaganda campaign, what was his propaganda and what is it supposed to achieve?

Perhaps you should also enlighten us as to what propaganda Barclays Bank, Posta Pay and a host of other Kenyan business were also spreading along with Kimunya.

The fact is that this was an investment driven forum that together with corporate Kenya the government is informing and urging Kenyans in the Diaspora to invest home. It is as simple as that.

If a clear growth in Kenyan economy and the government taking initiative to bring in investment is propaganda; then Mr. Gathara I wholeheartedly subscribe to Kimunya’s propaganda.

joe said...

Gathara inaonekana una kesi ya kujibu.porojo zako leo zime kushikwa. by the way posting as anonymous to support your views is not working.

but some very important questions have been asked about barclays,posta etc what was their agenda .mwangi hit it right on the head -you have a closet agenda in your post.

Maybe blogging about the kibera CDF Hummer would be a better story

mwangi said...

@ anonymous:

"aren't these two different events that people area talking about?(but from a same person)
hash's was in Georgia and the one Irena is talking about in DC?"


Do you suppose Kenya's GDP (or any other Macroeconomic stat) would change over the course of a short flight from DC - Atlanta ???

Haiyaa...

Anonymous said...

there is no reason why the forum could not have had elements of propaganda on the one hand, and elements of investment opportunities on the other. these two are not mutually exclusive, and stripping them apart is an exercise that requires intellectual rigour and scrutiny. GDP data may and may not be useful...depending on the context...neither is it comprehensive indicator of a RIGHT DIRECTION!!!!!!!! i still think gathara's points have been largely unaddressed.....and the arguments against gathara are still wanting. i do accept that investment possibilituies may well exist in kenya....fair enough....but the issues raised by gathara could ahve been responded to without so much ado. what's a hummer got to do with anything here???????????????? irena mentioned trickle down effects...how do you reconcile that with the recent UNDP Human Development Index (HDI) for kenya????? if kenya was entirely on the righht direction, at least this index should have changed positively, or what do you think????

Gathara said...

Since some of you seem to have some difficulty understanding what I originally posted, here's a brief recap.

Kimunya declares "We (meaning the government) have accomplished what we set out to do under the Economic Recovery Strategy." To support this, his slide presentation offers up several lines of evidence. The relevant ones discussed in the post are as follows (I am paraphrasing here):

There has been better economic performance as compared to the pre-2002 era.
Evidence: Compare the performance indicators pre and post 2002.
My issue: The government changed the way we calculate GDP. Has he factored this into his comparisons? If not, are the comparisons valid?

The poor are benefiting from the government's pro-poor policies.
Evidence: Agricultural reforms, increased expenditure in health, education and water provision, higher disbursements under LATF and CDF.
My issue: This is simply evidence of government expenditure. Where is the evidence that the lot of the poor is improving? How do we know that the spending is achieving the desired result?

The government is winning the war on corruption.
Evidence: Administrative actions to reduce corruption in public sector' measures to create anti-corruption awareness; introduction of legislation.
My issue: Where is the evidence that there has been a significant reduction in public sector corruption? Where is the evidence that the anti-corruption laws are being enforced and are producing the desired results?

3N said...

There has been better economic performance as compared to the pre-2002 era.

Defending Kimunya's Propaganda: Yes, Kimunya factored this into his comparison that is my assumption. You on the other hand assume he has not. Well until either one of us can be factual about whether he did or didn’t isn’t any argument on this flawed?

The poor are benefiting from the government's pro-poor policies.

Defending Kimunya's Propaganda: I don’t know what pro-poor policies you are waiting for if reviving KCC, KMC does not equal meat and milk farmers being able to earn money for their products. The CDF by itself has seen many local projects completed. Be it be cow dips, police posts, new classrooms etc, isn’t this progress and pro-poor policies at work???

The government is winning the war on corruption.
Defending Kimunya's Propaganda: There is this imagination by ignorant observers of the judicial system; that today you declare zero tolerance against corruption and tomorrow you wake up with zero tolerance.

Kimunya did acknowledge that the fight against corruption has been tough because of lack of magistrates and prosecutors. Legislation is underway to increase magistrates and specialize the judicial system especially the Public Prosecutor so that one section of prosecutors will be fully dedicated to Financial Crime and Corruption (of course this info was not on the slides).

Mr. Gathara, you have the benefit of being in Kenya; do you want to argue that Kenya today is more corrupt than it was during Moi’s regime. I do not need facts and figures just tell us from a casual observation, was Moi doing better in terms of war on corruption?

Gathara said...

3n,
If any argument on the statistics presented is flawed, isn't the Minister's presentation also necessarily flawed by the failure to explain this?

I did not ask for more pro-poor policies. I just want evidence that they are working. Citing the revival of factories and CDF tells nothing of the impact these have on the poor.

The question is not whether Mo1 was doing better fighting corruption; it should be whether Kibaki is doing enough. Whining about a lack of magistrates and prosecutors (after 5 years in power, by the way) and then declaring that they have accomplished the ERS targets is a precious bit of sophistry.

PS
Zero-tolerance of corruption does not take years to implement. It simply means you will not tolerate it. Well, the government has tolerated tainted ministers and proven unable to prosecute anyone of consequence except Gachara whom the President then pardoned. If that's their idea of zero-tolerance....

mwangi said...

Here is some World Bank Propaganda for you to ponder:


http://www.nationmedia.com/dailynation/nmgcontententry.asp?category_id=3&newsid=94608

mwangi said...

There has been better economic performance as compared to the pre-2002 era.

Evidence: Compare the performance indicators pre and post 2002.

Gathara: The government changed the way we calculate GDP. Has he factored this into his comparisons? If not, are the comparisons valid?

Mwangi: A change in the way GDP is calculated does not change the trend if we use the same method across the different time periods. If you are not convinced, The World Bank did not change the way they calculate GDP. They show Kenya’s GDP has improved remarkably since the Moi era.


The poor are benefiting from the government's pro-poor policies.

Evidence: Agricultural reforms, increased expenditure in health, education and water provision, higher disbursements under LATF and CDF.

Gathara: This is simply evidence of government expenditure. Where is the evidence that the lot of the poor is improving? How do we know that the spending is achieving the desired result?

Mwangi: Alas!! Price of milk has risen, Price of maize, coffee, tea. That means farmers are getting better prices. If that doesn’t bring about improved livelihoods, I don’t know what will. Children are enrolled in schools, higher expenditure to reflect increased salaries (higher motivation of teachers, better learning, more teachers, more classes, bursary funds) .These effects will be observed in the long-run.

The government is winning the war on corruption.

Evidence: Administrative actions to reduce corruption in public sector' measures to create anti-corruption awareness; introduction of legislation.

Gathara: Where is the evidence that there has been a significant reduction in public sector corruption? Where is the evidence that the anti-corruption laws are being enforced and are producing the desired results?

Mwangi: There has been a reduction in corruption, YOU EVEN ADMIT IT. It’s not significant, but it will be after Kibaki wins that inevitable 2nd term. Corruption has been institutionalized in Kenya and will take a looot of effort to undo.

3N said...

“Citing the revival of factories and CDF tells nothing of the impact these have on the poor.”

Gathara, I am sorry but your statement above really puzzles me. The factories being revived do not use ‘hot air’ for raw materials, they use raw materials SOLD to them by the poor. Thus the poor can also revive their pockets.

And what about “CDF tells nothing”? Again this is quite simple; you had a class that had 50 students now with a new school building each class now has 25 students. Mind you as Mwangi mentioned some of these students wouldn’t be in school were it not for the government’s free Primary education.

And those of the poor who sell to the revived factories do not have to pay for school fees. They can invest in better clothing, housing, food, health…etc.

Now Mr. Gathara, if you still do not understand how the above two examples have impact on the poor; then my friend I am really worried and saddened by your blatant refusal to acknowledge facts, figures and logic in the name of defending your “Kimunya’s Propaganda Campaign” argument.

Irena said...

@Mwangi- Thanks for painfully explaining basics :-) which at this point when it is all evidence but to only those digging to find something to undervalue the achievement hence for whoever want to say I 'm not answering their questions- Precisely (thanks for noticing) ,some things are self explanatory!!!-

Anonymous said...

...some arrant non-truths have clearly emerged that must be refuted. for example, while increased producer prices of milk, tea, coffee is good...the overall net effect on poverty is adverse because the sector of population outside the "producers" is far larger...that's why income disparity is still very skewed and HDI fell for most kenyans! besides, the poor sector of the population is also worse off when prices go up. increased GOK expenditure on salaries is a VERY BAD THING particularly when a larger or corresponding increase in infrastructure and productive assets did not occcur! this is what has happened, with districts being created and teachers, magistrates, MPs being given salary increases, arguably for no corresponding increase in performance.
revival of factories is per se a VERY SIMPLISTIC argument to advance , particularly when you want to PROVE THAT the poor have benefited thus!!!! poverty studies and reports abound on kenya...please look them up and you will realise that while GDP growth rate was good...a vulnerability study or a loser/beneficiary assessment assigned that increase to the kenyan cream that is already ok. please check ur facts. while kenya has done better generally, a multi-criteria analysis would, and i wager liberally on this one, return a depressing score on the current government.....! if moi and kibaki....watched over KMC, KCC collapsing...their revival cannot be a matter of unqualified kudos to kibaki. if it is, then this is a clear case of perverse philanthropy...where even when the barest and minimum-est entitlements of a kenyan is provided....and self-aggrandizisement is extracted even when it IS THE MINIMUM THAT A GAVA could do. no need to applaud very ordinary and in most critical issues lacklustre performances.
i agree that GOK has done some good things...but in all fairness....it scores a D. and i dont use MOI as a benchmark!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I just had another thought...revival of dead factories costs money...! have you wondered what would have better between reviving those few dead factories and spending that money to create a WLAN all over nairobi, mombasa and kisumu??? can you imagine the net effect since modern nations do not advance from industrialization...but from services and the knowledege industry??? i guess the point i am driving home is that kimunya could have simply gone the easier way...and inadvatently exacted upon kenya an enormous opportunity cost in this day of global competetiveness and the internet. Some "evident truths" or "self explanatory" matters can be quite ephemeral!

Gathara said...

3n,
Gathara, I am sorry but your statement above really puzzles me. The factories being revived do not use ‘hot air’ for raw materials, they use raw materials SOLD to them by the poor. Thus the poor can also revive their pockets.

Please provide some modicum of evidence for this claim.

And what about “CDF tells nothing”? Again this is quite simple; you had a class that had 50 students now with a new school building each class now has 25 students. Mind you as Mwangi mentioned some of these students wouldn’t be in school were it not for the government’s free Primary education.

Is it your understanding that class sizes countrywide are 25? If not, how does that impact on your argument?

And those of the poor who sell to the revived factories do not have to pay for school fees. They can invest in better clothing, housing, food, health…etc.

Where's the evidence that they are doing so?

Now Mr. Gathara, if you still do not understand how the above two examples have impact on the poor; then my friend I am really worried and saddened by your blatant refusal to acknowledge facts, figures and logic in the name of defending your “Kimunya’s Propaganda Campaign” argument.

Tsk Tsk. What facts?

kenya77 said...

what in the world is a non truth! can people speak in simple english so that we dont hide what we are saying

(lets stop trying to sound intellectual about what we are saying)

irena,mwangi and 3n judging from the last comments by anonymous just move on your work here has been done you have exposed the lie .this people wont agree . this are the same people who were posting pics of government ministers cars and complaining and are now praising the hummer as a strategy to win votes.

the economy in kenya has improved only someone who doesnt want to see that cant see.Even Christ said that the poor will always be with us. .

let them complain and waddle in their self created poverty state of mind .because we all now poverty starts in the mind

Gathara said...

Joe (for I know kenya77 is you),
No one has contended that the economy has not improved.The issue is by how much and whether that is sufficient or acceptable. I personally do not belong to the half-a-loaf-is-better-than-none school. Kenyans have a right to demand better.

irena said...

To add to what @Joe, Mwangi,3N & Kenya 77 has already explained, how do you explain the Higher Consumer Confidence as I'm sure you have noted that is apparent in the neck of the wood that you are at.This is the confidence that has seen the stock of various goods in Nakumatt rising, the increasing farmers markets in Buruburu and other residential areas = someone must be buying (demand) and selling (supply), the increasing congestion on the major highways meaning someone is buying Hyundai and Toyotas.

@Anonymous mentioned UNDP Human Development indicator and yes they may be low and perhaps Life Expentacy may lower that down quiet abit for I do not see how 4 years Kibaki would have turned that around in the time spam that we are talking of, at least that you have to agree cannot be achieved overnight,also adult literacy level , school enrollment may not have been as high as they will be if the 2030 vision is achived and also I do not know and perhaps you may care to explain what government statistics were used to come up with each indices. I'm no expert but I know if one indices is really low, then it would by simple arithmetic lower the score and in this case , life expectancy perhaps?. Again no one is saying that there not so many areas that need improvement because they do but to purposely come out and dismiss something or try so hard to aundermine the efforts is incosiderate and my question to you is this,what would you rather have , an improving Kenya, or one wallowing in finger pointing and people hanging on the fences looking for failures instead joining in the national building? To me, it feels like some Kenyans are just like hawks waiting for a bait to tear apart and it is really sad, really..

@Mwangi, now that coffee is in order after this exhausting discussion :-)

Irena said...

@Gathara , you say Kenya deserves better , which benchmark are you using( perhaps maybe the model Kenya is using has proven to work in India and some countries in Pacific Rim and ASEAN ) and may be perhaps "a peoples' attitude" and attitude like yours , then I'm not sure how...

Gathara said...

Irena,
So we are to credit all good things to Kibaki and as for the bad things ...well, he needs more time; wait for 2030? (fine print: give him another term)

The benchmark I am using is the one Kibaki himself set when he promised zero-tolerance to corruption, accountable and transparent government, and a clean break from the kleptocratic ways of previous governments.

irena said...

and how many years did he give to ensure absolute poverty, corruption , massive economic growth were achieved? Aren't we in the path towards achieving that. No one is saying that the bad stuff should wait till 2030, but 2030 is the goal for absolute and we spearheaded towards that or perhaps maybe someone better come up with another vision that is better and achievable in short term (read 5 years). Perhaps Gathara instead writng government shortcomings,your blogs should provide a forum of innovative way we can achieve these goals fast and we can present it to the government as a challenge and let them defend themselves with our own facts, agendas and plans...now that is a challenge my brother !

Gathara said...

Irena,
I have no problem with people who wish to suggest solutions. I just don't think that we should necessarily exclude those (like myself) who simply point out the shortcomings. In a democracy, the critic of government should always have pride of place.

Irena said...

@Gathara- I agree everyone has a space in democracy and deliberative democracy is the proper way to do like we are doing here but while doing so, lets not just critize for the sake of wanting an Eutopia kind of kenya but agree that better is not the best and work together to achieve the best rather than trying to stagnate debate over issues without providing alternative and better solution. Gathara with that, good discussion-you have held your own and for that much appreciation!

Anonymous said...

kenya77 - "we all know poverty starts in the mind" ...i have no answer to this!!!! criticizing minsters opulence (limos etc) while using taxpayers money...is not comparable to a hummer bought with private money. please avoid such mix-ups coz they dont advance any meaningful argument.

Irena - thanx for admitting that several criteria are used to generate the HDI...they are between 15 and 20 criteria. i accept that kenya is on a right direction, but many other things are NOT. even on the much touted economic front...the truth is a highly qualified one...and i am saying that you should not just accept those figures and data, and assume certain automaticities about the inferences derived therefrom. you have a right to support whoever you want...but i am afraid the doubts raised by others on those very facts still remain as valid...and ur inferences were logically invalid coz they have not been proven to derive from those facts. kenya is in a somewhat good direction (im on shaky ground here!) but when i think of standard raid, atur bros, lucy kibaki slaps journalist, delamere incident and case withdrawal by AG, Amos still AG, demos tear-gassed, road to mara kaput...Veep involved in scandals etc...etc....LOL!!!!

3N said...

irena & mwangi, I think as advised by Kenya77 today will be better spent not trying to repeat the same arguments to Gathara.

Gathara let me make this my last point:

It is unfortunate that you would need to see evidence that when a parent has additional income they would invest in better health, clothing etc.

Do you want me to provide a poor family their clothing before improved earning and thereafter.

Are you arguing that if a parent paid 3,000 shillings in school fees and now they do not have to pay He / She will not use that money to better his / her family's wife.

If you need evidence for logical assumptions I can't help you there.

I think I am done with this one.
Peace.

Irena said...

@Anonymous: So your grounds for dismissal are the raids, Arthur brothers( and we all know that opposition was involved) and the rest of the stuff that you brought up .So if that is what your complaints and concerns are so then why are you stepping on the strides that the government has met i.e "minimal economic growth" to some people's eyes. If you have beef with the issues you talk of , then for heavens sake talk about those not indirectly attacking Kimunya and his efforts to mobilize us to inject to the economy back home and that is where my beef with you and Gathara arose.
Again I do not know of any country even the good ol'USA whose government does not have its own short comings and instead of fighting the government tooth and nail, the opposition constructively criticize and support the government of the day and agree to disagree without disrespecting the government and using inappropriate ways to disregard even the good deeds the government had done. Mr. Anonymous (and I wish you could use a name even a fake one we all have fake names up in here )if you expect an absolute government with no mistakes along the way,then honestly you are living in a fantasy world. The aggression some of you who are against the government of the day is frightening and with that I do not wish to convince you of anything else but wait till 2008 and let the voters and wananchi decide and when they do , we all accept what we get and move on!

Anonymous said...

irena- i apologise for digressing....the atur story etc were not germane to the economic growth argument, my apologies! although, you adding that "and we all know the opposition was involved" only indicts current govt! the opposition should have been charged in court...so that all and sundry CAN SEE that the current govt is steadfast and a paragon of sound governance and rule of law!!!!!
i am not "aggressive" ..i only refuse to be treated to conclusions and partialities that are not supportable on balance of all known facts. I do not support ODM, so i have no personal agenda other than asking and DEMANDING good governance, not as a privillege,....BUT a RIGHT!!!!!!!.

asking me to behave how Americans...or Greeks do towards their govt...is fair....BUT I HAVE TO SAY NO! that is neither compelling nor good enough reason!.

irena said...

@Anonymous " ..i only refuse to be treated to conclusions and partialities that are not supportable on balance of all known facts" - Good for you if you must be spoon fed to understand basic stuff and with your command of Queen's English what is so hard about the facts that continue to be provided and if you do not agree, conduct your own statistics and lets compare and contrast!!!!!

P/S The Kenyan opposition is not comprised of ODM , thought you should know that but you keep defending yourself of this ODM,one has to wonder?

"than asking and DEMANDING good governance, not as a privillege,....BUT a RIGHT!!!!!!!. - Then again stand to be elected or support those who have your vision and make the damn changes!!!

Anonymous said...

What do you mean you are not an ODM Supporter . why do ODM faithful hide everytime they are called out !
Raila himself has said its a two horse race there will be no fence sitting this year .Either you support kibaki the good and the bad or you support odm with its good and bad .

There seems to be a utopian attitude especially with kenyans based in nairobi and nyanza.The want a government that feeds them and their children .educates them for free and even waches other their personal security by providing every kenyan with a body gaurd .Ontop of that they dont want kibaki or his men but when challanged if they want odm they claim they dont want odm either .

is making up your mind on what you want such a big issue .this escapist dont want corruption ,dont want maendeleo,dont want progess ,dont want qualified kenyans to hold jobs,dont want tribalism at the same time dont want kikuyus,dont want kibaki ,dont want raila or ruto .what exactly is it that you want i dont get it .either you are for kibaki or you are in the opposition .Its like being pregnant.either or hakuna maybe or i am not havinga baby but i am not pregnant .If yoy are not with kibaki then you are with raila those are the choices today .there is no utopia

Anonymous said...

i think we have lost the point here and i beg to stop, but not without a couple of parting shots. One, I am not beholden to Raila's definition of the race....so please dont commit the fallacy of false dichotomy by telling me its either this or that! two, what criteria do you use to identify an ODM supporter???? does being asked to clarify unclear points make me an ODM supporter? i thought we were having a discourse and not forwarding political-party preferences! Three,.....MY DEMANDING GOOD GOVERNANCE AS MY RIGHT DOES NOT REQUIRE OF ME TO OFFER MYSELF FOR ELECTIVE OFFICE! four, refusing to be either for raila or kibaki IS NOT and WILL NEVER BE the definition of the word UTOPIA. Five and finally, i did not see any "basic stuff" that i need not be spoonfed with....! did you see any basic stuff??????????

Gathara said...

Mwangi,
If the World Banks's figures are more reliable, then let the Minister use those. No one is disputing that there has been an improvement. The question is whether the figures as presented by the Minister add up. I was critiquing his PRESENTATION.

A rise in the price of milk and other goods may arguably be an indicator but it is surely not evidence that the poor are getting any richer.

If the effects of the increased expenditure is to be felt in the future, why does the minister declare that he has already achieved the goals of the ERS? Was the goal simply to spend money?

I have not "admitted" that there has been a reduction in public sector corruption. This is just another speculative claim. Again if it will take ages to rid ourselves of corruption, why does the minister claim success? Was the goal to simply enact the legislation and reforms?

3n,
My beef was with the first part of your statement i.e. the assumption that the poor are selling to or otherwise benefiting from the revival of factories. Where is the evidence for that?

And I notice that you fail to provide evidence for the other claims you had made in your previous comments. Very like Kimunya.

Irena,
let the voters and wananchi decide and when they do , we all accept what we get and move on!
That is a dangerous attitude. Just because Kibaki got more votes than Uhuru doesn't give him carte-blanche to run the country anyway he deems fit. He is still accountable to us (yes, even those who didn't vote for him but finance his salary and perks through taxes).

Anon #2,
I also don't buy the dichotomy you are selling. Pointing out the shortcomings of the current government does not make one an automatic opposition supporter and neither does it amount to a rejection of other government achievements. All I want is good, transparent and accountable governance and I couldn't give a rat's ass where that comes from.

Gathara said...

Martha Karua's apparently hitched her wagon to the propaganda train. Check out my take here.