This is why Kenyans are broke
News that President Uhuru Kenyatta was wondering why Kenyans are broke was the subject of public outrage this entire week.
A report from a local media house revealed that during a meeting with the Cabinet and some parastatal heads, the President said he could not quite understand why Kenyans are in dire financial straits.
In the unlikely event that he does not know what the situation is, then the debt owed to government suppliers would be a good point to start.
At this time, the government owes its suppliers Ksh. 300billion out of which only Ksh. 10billion was set aside in June towards making the payments.
Counties owe their suppliers an additional Ksh. 98billion with Mr Kenyatta at the meeting ordering that Ksh. 34billion be released to compensate the county contractors.
To make matters worse, the government’s local borrowing has been heavy, with banks choosing them as a client of the Small and Medium sized Enterprises that have a higher ‘risk’ suffocating them of the much needed credit and in the process running them out of business.
It does not end there as Treasury has even had to ask the Judiciary and Parliament to cut its budget, with the Chief Justice even coming out to decry the financial constraints that his arm of government had come under.
The Kenya Revenue Authority, for three years now, has been unable to reach its revenue targets.
Yet despite all this, parliament, where the ruling party holds all the winning cards, has approved raising the country’s debt ceiling to Ksh. 9trillion, well above the national budget and close to the size of Kenya’s economy.
Asking why Kenyans are broke therefore is akin to a father asking his children why he is broke.
Yvonne Okwara is a senior news anchor at Citizen TV and this report is her take that was broadcasted on November 14 on the popular current affairs program News Gang which airs every Thursday
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