The country is going through a storm. The economy is not stable and what is worrying is that the countries that have gone through where we are now have come out beaten, shaken and some of those countries governments have fallen.
As a country we must put forward our best foot to make sure that we over come this challenging storm. But then the responsibility stops with the captain. The captain must bring his skills together. The president of Kenya must at this time going forward making those decision that are in the best interest of the country. And this decisions ought to be bold and firm.
That brings us to the VAT act where the president has been asked by the parliament to accept that we postponed the implementation date of the VAT charged on the petroleum products by another two years. Instead, the president have proposed that the 16% VAT be reduced to 8%. This shows lack of firmness from from the president side.
This is a time ‘dilemma’ can not work, you are either on the left on the right. The president must therefore only make firm decisions. Reducing VAT from 16% to 8% is not addressing what was put before him. Parliament asked him to agree, which means he was either to agree or to reject and give his reasons for not accepting that we postponed the implementation date.
Changing from 16% to 8% simply means the president is doing the work of the parliament because president requires substantive law to do that and laws are not made in statehouse, laws are only made in parliament.
The country of Kenya must choose either of the two side, left or right. If we go left, we remain a third world country within the arm-beat of the world bank with its IMF. We will be people who care what IMF is saying, What London club is saying, what the Bahrain club is saying, how the bond market is responding and we could care to know about borrowing. If Kenya chose to remain within that cycle then Kenya would have to respect what world bank says.
VAT on the petroleum products is just one of the things we will have to do and if not, soon we will be told to devalue our shillings among a host of other measures Kenyans will be forced to do in order to remain credit worth and in order to remain a going concern in the thinking of the IMF.
So VAT is just a clear path that we needs to take. We can not have our cake and eat it. Either we are in that arm beat of IMF and world bank, we continue to borrow from China, we continue to auction the country, we reach a point where we are slaves and we reach a point where some of our facilities like ports would have to go to the Chinese.
If Kenya continue to borrow and later fails to pay the loans, we shall in future unseat some of our lands to the Chinese in a sense that Kenya is becoming a Chinese colony.
The other paths is for us to agree that the formula we have been using for development in Africa, can not work for us. The structural adjustments programs and all other things that have come our way from IMF have never work. So we can choose to ignore IMF and world bank and chose a new path. And for this to happen, it requires some boldness and leadership.
Another better option is we chat a new way of doing things in Africa. Where we trade among ourselves as Africans. Where we deal with the Chinese, Americans and the Europeans as equal partners in the market. But as long as we depend on this people, we will never develop, we will become slaves and we will have to do what they say.
So the president must make a very strong and bold decision on how he wants to run the economy of Kenya.