It is possible that that the dog and snake-meat export promoting presidential candidate has a well-thought economic plan to deal with the serious debt question that faces the next government after the 2022 general election. It is possible. For example, it is possible in the same way that with enough theoretical physics one can show how a full-grown adult elephant can balance on the head of a pin. What kenya faces today is not theoretical; not even the expert massaging by the Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya can hide the parlous state of the national economy. What Kenya needs, instead of unserious promoters of dead ideas, is a candidate serious enough to tell the truth.
I admit that I am biased against anyone who rose to the rank of Inspector in the Special Branch, especially anyone who did so at the height of the second president's regime's extensive violation of human rights. It is possible that our ex-secret-policeman has repented his sins, if not of commission, surely of omission, given the evils that Special Branch officers committed under the behest and direction of their Commander-in-Chief. He has not said publicly if he dissociates himself from those evil deeds and going by his promise to hang criminal offenders (with hemp ropes), I am not sure he has any intention of repenting. But that is neither here nor there.
Kenya's economic current problems are not only about the current account, though the current account deficit is worrying. They are not only about the challenges in effective revenue management (collection and spending), though revenue management has defeated three regimes back to back. They are not even only about the looting of the state's treasuries, though grand graft has proven a massive enabler of other crimes, violent and otherwise. It is all these and so much more. But worst of all, it is the nature of the public debt and the manner in which that public debt has ballooned.
Enough has been mentioned about the difference in quality between the Kibaki-era public debt and the current one, as well as the speed with which Kibaki-era debt grew compared to this regime. Little, if any, has been mentioned of the dereliction of duty by the Houses of Parliament. The way the National Assembly, especially, played its oversight role through the several Finance Bills, Appropriation Bills, Supplementary Appropriation Bills and other legislators that occasioned the additional expenditure of public funds should be scandal in and of itself, the subject of keen examination by presidential and parliamentary candidates of all stripes. Instead, a pro-psychotropic-substances candidate is of the opinion that the best solution is to round up (or breed, who the hell knows at this moment, right?) dogs and snakes for the export market! This lack of seriousness, and the adulation that it has invited, must worry everyone who has two functioning brain cells.
We know, and the realisation is dawning on those who have argued otherwise, that the public debt is unsustainable. That something drastic must be done to address the crisis. That it is not expansion of incomes and, consequently, income taxes, that is the solution. That it is not rationalisation of the public service, golden handshakes and parachutes all around, that will slow down the debt treadmill. Not even binning infrastructure plans of dubious economic value will cut the debt down to manageable levels. It is all these, and then some. More Kenyans must be allowed to keep more of their incomes than is currently the case. More Kenyans must be facilitated to invest in the domestic economy than is currently the case. And Government, in all its iterations, must spend greater proportion of what collects to facilitate those two propositions. If we must pay back what we owe, and pay it back without jeopardising the national economy - or damaging it irreparably - then we cannot entertain asinine suggestions about the billions of dollars we shall earn exporting dogs and snakes to god knows where. That kind of un-seriousness is a threat to national economic wellbeing.