By Prof. Gitile Naituli

It’s slightly over one year since William Ruto took oath of office on the cusps of great national expectation. Dr. Ruto’s campaign messaging was based on the platform of economic liberation theology. Majority of Hoi polloi believed that KK’s bottom up economic module would be an instant coffee to be sipped in a leisurely Canaan after the 9th of August 2022. They trusted Dr. Ruto to have held the miracle stick that would separate the Red sea and evacuate the country to the land of plenty.
The President started on a high pitch. In his inaugural speech, he appointed the six judges whose elevation had been put in a freezer and decreed immediate release of police reform funds. Beating a combined force of Uhuru and Odinga’s political machine was sort of a revolutionary feat that required more than the rhetoric served on the campaign podium. Such victory called for corresponding commitment and action. Releasing police funds and appointment of judges was a strong political message but weak in terms of empowerment to the struggling hustler.
The Hustler Fund turned out to be stillbirth. The Sh500 and Sh1,000 hustler loan was a cruel slap in the face of the masses who genuinely expected seed capital that would spur exponential growth of small and medium sized enterprises. So far the operations of the Hustler Fund remain shrouded in mysterious opaqueness. When one questions the practical rationality of starting a business with Sh500 or Sh1,000, one is referred to as rich and out of touch before being lectured on the lucrative nature of maize roasting venture.
Besides the Hustler Fund failed experiment, the government seems bereft of any other effective policy action which can place the wananchi at the bottom of the economic ladder on an upward trajectory. The farm fertilizer subsidy was a great action. However, it was nullified by high energy prices. The farmer was intercepted along the way by high cost of transportation, astronomical cost of production and subsequent high cost of living.
We hear of big names as economic advisers to the President. Government has categorically insisted on subsidizing production as opposed to consumption. How the economists fail to understand that electricity and fuel are primary factors of production which affect all sectors of the economy is beyond my comprehension.
On the campaign trail, president William Ruto was eloquent on emphasizing that the solution to our country’s challenges lay in economic transformation and not on constitutional change. Probably he was right. Yet, he has made a somersault and elevated constitutional change above economic agenda. In fact, he seems to have secretly decided that the creation of the office of the official opposition leader and entrenching the office of the Prime Cabinet Secretary into the constitution will be the flagship project of his first term. The more things change the more they remain the same. If Uhuru government was accused of arrogance, then Dr. Ruto’s aristocracy serves it uncooked. If Uhuru system was accused of entitlement, the entitlement in Ruto’s has been coronated.
The mambo ni matatu mantra has effectively canceled any illusions about adherence to the Rule of Law. Presidential fiat and the wishes of the mighty are part of the new normal. Dispatching additional funds to the police kitty without demonstrable programmes for change and systems to deal with corruption and ineptitude only served a populist purpose. In the entire country, police use taxpayers’ fuel as they go round collecting protection fund daily from every bar and every pub in the republic. It’s a not so well guarded secret that the money goes up the tier to the highest office in police service. That’s what happens to the daily collection of bribes by traffic police too. Generally, the overall fight against corruption remains in the lips of our leaders.
The first batch of promises were to materialize immediately after assuming office that one didn’t quite happen. The second bundle of promises was to ripen between six and twelve months…but apart from high taxation and rise in energy prices nothing seems to be changing. Now the gear for the third phase of promises seems fully engaged. The ordinary mwananchi exists in a state of utopian expectations only to be occasionally nudged back to reality by pangs of hunger. There’s trouble in the land. Out of desperation, our youth population is being zombified and decimated by fake third generation cheap liquor. It’s a silent genocide which no one wants to talk about.
There’s urgent need for diversity of transformational ideas which can lead to a composite approach to national issues. A continuation of the current transactional approach to national duty is no longer tenable.
Finally, who speaks for the government? Is it the president, is it the individual ministers, is it KK members of parliament? I’m asking this because there’s a gulf of information vacuum between the government and the people. I’m made to understand the reason for the government losing propaganda war on social media stems from cronism, corruption and arrogance by the snobbish guys in charge. As a result, the army of president’s Facebook and Twitter supporters felt unappreciated and went silent. At this era losing war on platforms of technology is almost suicidal. May be the government also agrees that they have nothing tangible to make known or to defend.

The author is lecturer Multimedia University of Kenya and a former commissioner, NCIC


  1. […] REAR ALSOImpeachment of governors under Article 181 and The County Governments Act is another slap on the face of democratic accountability. The process is supposed to start at the county assembly and eventually to the senate. I’ve argued on previous occasions that it’s wrong, irrational and unconstitutional for the national senate to have inserted itself in governors’ impeachment processes.So far this has been the most enterprising political business. Impeachment of governors at the county assembly is something like trade unionism. If the deal is not struck at the county level, the transaction proceeds to the senate. It is at this level where governors herd mentality bell rings. […]


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