Wednesday, October 10, 2007


This morning I listened to Raila being interviewed by Patrick Quarco of Kiss FM on his candidature. Interestingly, Raila says that Jua Kali business is a contributor to poverty, that as President he would grant a general amnesty for past economic crimes with only the proviso that those involved own up and return their loot (i.e. no prosecutions), and that an ODM administration would raise the necessary cash to implement free secondary education by stopping theft of public resources while at the same time admitting that free primary education has been an unmitigated failure in the sense that kids are in school but no learning is taking place. On insecurity, Raila seems to believe that all crime is a socio-economic phenomenon that can only be solved through better economic policies and not by better policing.

On the first point, it seems strange that someone campaigning under the banner of redistributing the benefits of economic growth and reducing unemployment should be against a sector of the economy that for the past 2 decades has been the largest source of employment for urban poor. When the economy was languishing under Moi and formal sector companies were either closing shop or downsizing their workforce, it was the Jua Kali businesses that kept Kenya afloat. The vast majority of jobs were created in this sector as has been admitted by the current government and the sector's importance is illustrated by the growing realisation by banks and financial institutions that there's a lot of money to be made by servicing it.

Secondly, Raila faults the Kibaki for not implementing the recommendations of the Goldenberg Commission and for largely turning a blind eye to grand corruption within his administration. The Goldenberg report did not recommend amnesty but rather prosecutions. If a Raila administration was to grant an amnesty, it is unclear to me how this would be a deterrent to future corruption.

On crime, it surely obvious that poverty is no excuse for criminal activity. Better economics would help but, as noted by J. Edgar Hoover, only certain and timely punishment deters crime. Raising police wages would do for that institution what raising parliamentary salaries has done for the House -absolutely nothing. In fact, in the latter case, the wage hikes simply served to whet their appetite for further acquisition. Integrity cannot be bought. Better living conditions will never eradicate crime. To do that we must insist on integrity, better training, professionalism and independence in our law-enforcement officers and not just seek to give them better pay as a reward for their woeful performance.

Finally, instead of fixing the problems created by free primary education, Agwambo proposes to export these woes to secondary education. The lack of facilities and personnel witnessed at the primary level are multiplied when one looks at the secondary school scenario. It is unlikely that in the event of a Raila win that corrupt bureaucrats would suddenly cease their thieving ways in order to provide the resources for free secondary schooling as the candidate seems to hope (an outcome made even more remote by his promise of an amnesty).

I hope that the ODMites here can explain the seeming inconsistencies in their candidate's proposals. It is not enough to point out the Kibaki's many failures. If we want to do better, we must insist that whoever wishes to replace him desists from giving us half-baked-pie-in-the-sky promises and seriously addresses the issues.


Anonymous said...

Leo If you listened to kissfm you hear raila say it Jua Kali is breeding poverty .And no criminals will be charged with theft so what change is raila talking about .if Anglo leasing people ,Goldenberg people will remain free then how different is that from Kenya today .What makes an odm government even worse is the fact that now raila has declared war on small scale businessmen and women ,First it was the stock exchange investors now it is the jua kali man and woman . what more evidence do people want .Straight from the horses mouth .

Raila and Odm are promising heaven and earth but the realities for Kenyans who fall for them will be disastrous .the other day I heard a joke that has been circulating on the web about an odm supporter who died . When he died he arrived at the gates of heaven ,Saint peter looked for his name and couldn't find it . so he said we seem to have a glitch your name isn't here , you should have gone to hell but you ended up here .

so this is what we will do you will spend 24 hours in hell and 24 hours in heaven ,then you can decide where you want to go .The odm supporter objected but saint peter told him we have rules here .we have to do what I told you . so saint peter took the odm supporter to hell.When they arrived the place wasn't like the odm supporter thought it would be .The place looked beautiful, there was free food,free rent songs and dance even raila was there ,drinks to go all around and even a clubhouse.Leaders in hell were funny and the entertained the crowds that were in hell .People danced made merry all night ,Everyone was happy .24 hours went by so fast that when saint peter came the odm supporter didn't want to go .

Rules are rules my man lets go -you have to go to heaven before you make a choice .On arrival in heaven things were ok ,people were happy though it wasn't as exciting as hell. the mood was good but things seemed kind of slow compared to hell.The odm supporter though settled and enjoyed the relaxing atmosphere and 24 hours passed. Saint peter came and asked the odm supporter ok you have seen both sides tell me which one do you want to go to.

The odm supporter said I would have never thought of saying this but I choose to go to hell!

OK saint peter said lets go so he pushed the elevator button and the went to hell .upon arrival the odm supporter was shocked .Hell was looking grim the people were in rags and they were hungry, the place smelled and garbage was strewn all over ,there were flying toilets and rapes ,violence and all sorts of things . Saint peter quickly shut the door and left the odm supporter ,The odm supporter started complaining I was here yesterday everything was fine the people were happy the place was clean there was free rent ,food and drink this is not the same .At this point RAILA(The Devil) put his hands around the odm supporter and said .


Think before you vote ODM!

Unknown said...

I don't support either the Baks or Aliar (Raila). I feel cheated thoroughly by both, and they cut from the same cloth. What they are serving is populist policies - anything for some nights at that state hse address!! With tainted guys like Mudavadi, Joe and Ruto, what corruption will Aliar be fighting?!! Let's not talk Baks - he's shown in black and white what he feels about it.

I've been given a lot of nonsensical arguments about voting 'the right person', 'better of several evils/devil-you-know', 'man vs kihii' ujinga; none is better than the other,and more so when you check the coterie of people they're willing to work with. We voted Moi out - Baks is courting him, on top of doing nothing about all the stolen wealth and misdeeds he and his government oversaw. That tantamount to kicking me in the teeth when I'm lying injured on the ground. No thing's a worse betrayal of my vote and trust; cheating me out of my and my progeny's dream,
and misruling by the rule of law! Rattling if you may....I never heard any of the raise their voice when their ilk was hiking salaries against our wishes - heck, they never asked me whether they should!! Ah ah - siwezi kurudia ujinga ule ule -- nimekataa.

NO, I'm better of keeping my vote - under lock and key. Until a better dispensation that listens to the people comes in, or hell melts, I'll watch news, and discuss in the pub.

I've learnt, my vote matters zilch!

Anonymous said...

I don't think Raila will put his neck out pursuing some of these guys

If some section of Kenyans want vengence, then they are on their own

Anonymous said...

Hi Garth!
did you mean to say that the informal sector contributed most jobs in urban kenya...or that jua kali did????? here i am distinguishing between jua kali and the informal sector, as both are not synonymous.
while i agree that there is no need to be "agauinst" jua is not the future for kenya. it will not be an engine of development...unless you either transform it to a high-value-adding sector....or replace it all together with one of higher value interms of jobs and market value. To imagine that otherwise enklarging jua kali can be an engine of growth and development is to be over-ambitious. if i was a startegist in kenya"s economy, jua kali IS NOT WHAT will make kenya middle income nation. you need application of more efficient and knpwledge-based skills...the type that you dont find in jua kali. otherwise the global game will bypass us and jua kali. or what do you think? Vincent.