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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Economic Vultures Feasting on Kenya's Carcass

The MYTH created by Kenyan media and business people in preaching peace has been exposed for what it truly is: SELFISHNESS. Seeing the so-called private sector and businessmen trooping to State House to preach peace betrays their thirst for profit in 'missed opportunities'.

And predictably Kibaki never disappointed the chaps. Emilio knows who oils his political wheels when he sets eyes on those who paid one million shillings for a plate of fish and chips or mokimo to finance the elections that he ended up STEALING anyway. Confined to the walls and lawns of State House after selective visits to the internally displaced, Emilio looked all academic in taking notes. In truth he may have been reconciling and prioritizing which accounts (election debts) to settle first.

The truism that image is everything particularly in the service industry has no exception. Contrast that fact with the sight of Equity bank chairman sojourning to London in a PNU delegation. The chap then gets embroiled in partisan escapades rubbishing ODM whose supporters sustain his bank.

So after roasting their geese, it defeats even basic tenets of imagination to see these economic mercenaries shamelessly start asking where the rain started drenching them wet. They dug the hole which they must enter. All we have are scoundrels in all shades who only speak of the 'wider good' in jest while the real motivation are grandiosely selfish.

Until and unless HONESTY reigns in Kenya, the business community will remain blinded by profit in their singular HELL FOR LEATHER pursuits. Their hollow proclamations of the wider good will remain a shell as Kenya continues to bleed profusely from all her orifices. These so-called industrialists are nothing but dogs of war in disguise. Pepo mbaya, washindwe.


mula said...

My friend you're quite misguided about business and capitalism. Simple business rules are, you don't mix friendship with business. Kenya is a capitalist society, what you're advocating for, is a socialist society where we share our profits after you've benefited from the services. who runs a business like that in a modern society and survive to see another day, unless with government handouts. Go to the States, Europe and the like and talk about selfishness and business. You rip what you get my friend.
Foreign businesses and the Asian communities, I'm sure are quite happy with these moves, the beneficiaries of all these madness, not you and your like minded friends.
when will most African learn not to destroy themselves to imagine that, thats to anyones benefit but others. Its a dog eat dog world. If you think that opportunities come by taking whats not yours by force or waiting for it to come to you, good luck.
Basically, in the name of democracy we African never disappoint the world with our actions, more Mula to the world.. We can't handle our issues amicably, we do a good job with self hate and destruction, po po

Anonymous said...

It seems to me (i would have thought) that the president should not have been taking vigorous notes here but instead at an investigative trial over his alleged presidential election win. This meeting with shiny suit-clad business professionals decrying loss of economy must be called for what it is-nothing but a shameless cry to feast of Kenya's carcass-asante mwalimu
you know that willing woman Kiraitu had said is being raped? well in this case she has already been raped and its like trying to tell her "it never happened, but please stop crying it won't happen again"

mula said...

These businesses have been running since inception, unless you think the entire population will join the chorus, sorry to say, it'll eventually be immaterial.. a write down for that matter, and claim it in their taxes as a write off.. So whose losing here? Capitalism is unfair, but that what we are. Deal with it.

Anonymous said...

The article below underscores what Mehindi Dahya of Kisumu whose 32 years investment was burnt to the ground says in today's Daily Nation quote "I cannot sit down and cry. As long as God is with us, we will make it" unquote

The issue before us not easy as it looks. In guise all of us are looking at the situation with our colored glasses. Colored by our perception of the other people or by our perceived injustice carried against us depending on our social or ethnic backgrounds. We are all waiting for external events or the other person to act in a certain way in order to release us from our anguish and anger. We have become emotional prisoners of one another, regardless of our education or religion we secretly want blood and destruction. I met someone who seemingly can't eat since this crises started, why? Because of the way they feel about the situation and "that tribe " that has caused it

What we have refused to take is personal responsibility. We must appreciate the fact that true healing starts first with us. Our release from anger is not with the other person, or a summon on the pulpit, it is with us. We must take responsibility of our emotions and feelings towards the "other people". This is the only way we can build a civilized society. Without saying it people are looking for revenge and justice. It is said when you take the route of revenge, you then must dig two graves because you also become a victim. We must first find personal freedom by disempowering the "other person" to be the source of our self esteem or happiness. You disempower the other person by first forgiving them in order to realize true peace to enable you to rationally evaluate the cause of the current events and factually deal with it.

Dr Munroe in his book the "Burden of Freedom" notes that many third world nations have never known what real freedom is. We want freedom both social and economic but we don't want the responsibility that comes with it. For years we hated the Asians for their prosperity; we even beat them and destroyed their property when we got a chance to. But we remained poor. However over the last 10 years, we have taken responsibility, we have developed our business skill. We have now competed with them in the spare parts business; we have invaded the city shops with our exhibitions stands and killed the " Dukawala". The crusade continues, we soon shall follow them into the industrial area and start manufacturing. We don't hate or beat them; we must compete with them in a free enterprise and beat them at their own game. In short we have taken responsibility and claimed our freedom from hate and economic need.

Forgiving the other person almost sounds cowardly. But it is the first step towards greatness, it is the path that made Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela great, yet in this perceived weakness they brought lasting freedom to their masses. Your character must be bigger than the issue before hand. You deal with the issue but preserve the core at any cost, you take responsibility. What is a world without your opponent? We are all co dependent on one another. In our different forms we constitute the beauty of Kenya. Imagine a world without the flair of the Luo, the biashara mind of a Kikuyu and the humor of a Akamba. It is this distinct different cultures that visitors admire about Kenya and want to come back again and again.

Last Saturday my wife and I went to salvage our business that we have build painfully over five years. A gang of youths were at the gate and ordered us to turn back or burn our car. Some of them were people we had directly helped. They were taking pocession of every business premise on that building as their own. They have been made to believe that by freely taking, they will find personal freedom. We turned back and left them to occupy the building and loot the premises. Was I full of hate for them for destroying our investment of five years? Maybe for a moment, it was painful but I took control. I must not become their emotional prisoner through hate. Instead of anger I actually pitied them because they were living in a form of ignorance. I have found personal freedom that they apparently haven't. I shall start again, I shall build another business. After all this is the spirit of enterprise. I shall find economic freedom through daily effort and the search for a better way. They will never on the other hand find this freedom unless they first seek to understand or someone explains to them

We look foolish in the eyes of the world as we torch our country in the name of anger. We entertain the west in their cozy living rooms as we chase our brothers with pangas and destroy property. We bring color to their evenings as they enjoy the boredom that comes with tranquil and peace. After all, this better than watching wrestling. This is "Real TV "as Africans torch their country and mutilate one another. It is true what they have always believed; the African might actually never find civility.

I have thus made a choice not to be angry with the "other tribe". I will endeavor to forgive where I have been harmed, I will search where I am unjust to the other person so that I can correct. But we must all rise above the hate regardless of the facts and search for the greater common good. If you find truth in this email, please pass it on to one more person. Author name witheld.

Seasons & Reasons said...

I think it is important to be balanced when posting.

Charles Njonjo's CMC and CFC group were major contributors for ODM. So was Joshua Kulei and Nakumatt.

Are you saying that these guys supported ODM just for the sake of it? It is an investment like any other and they expected returns if ODM won.

You know what, I supported both groups and gave cash to both sides because for me I need business from both and I don't care about their politics.

Business has one main goal- Profit!

Anonymous said...

I think it's about time we held our leaders accountable for some of the practices. I don't think it's in order for one to loot and destroy his neighbour's shop because he belongs to another tribe. There are many victims of circumstance in this crisis. I mean a lady who lives in the slum and is of the same tribe as a powerful minister. There may not be a concrete connection between them apart from the fact that their ancestors may have come from the same hill mountains over a thousand years ago. This should not be an ethnic conflict but rather a struggle for Kenyans to take control of their destiny, as a nation. What do we all think of the East African Federation that should be 3-5 years from now. Are we uniting countries for the sake of burrying our past sinister actions or are we uniting nations for progrss growth and development. I got two brilliant descriptions of corruption from an African entrepreneur:
Corruption is a general concept describing any organised, interdependent system in which part of the system is either not performing duties it was originally intended to, or performing them in an improper way, to the detriment of the system's original purpose. Political corruption, meanwhile, refers to dysfunctions of a political system or institution in which politically elected officials seek illegitimate personal gain through actions such as bribery, extortion, cronyism, nepotism, patronage, graft, and embezzlement.

"Rent seeking" is a closely related term in economics. In some nations, corruption is so common that it is expected when ordinary businesses or citizens interact with government officials (for example someone selling a passport form). The end-point of political corruption is a kleptocracy, literally meaning the “rule by thieves”. It should be noted that a government is not and cannot be corrupt. It is only the individuals who may become corrupted.
In economics, rent seeking occurs when an individual, organisation, or firm seeks to make money by manipulating the economic and or legal environment rather than by making a profit through trade and production of wealth. The term comes from the notion of economic rent, but in modern use of the term, rent seeking is more often associated with government regulation and misuse of governmental authority than with land rents.

Rent seeking generally implies the extraction of uncompensated value from others without making any contribution to productivity, such as by gaining control of land and other pre-existing natural resources, or by imposing burdensome regulations or other government decisions that may affect consumers or businesses. While there may be few people in modern industrialised countries who do not gain something, directly or indirectly, through some form or another of rent seeking, rent seeking in the aggregate may impose substantial losses on society.

Most studies of rent seeking focus on efforts to capture special monopoly privileges, such as government regulation of free enterprise competition (like fixing exchange rates as in Zimbabwe). Other rent seeking is held to be associated with efforts to cause a redistribution of wealth by, for example, shifting the government tax burden or government spending allocation

From a theoretical standpoint, the moral hazard of rent seeking can be considerable. If "buying" a favourable regulatory environment is cheaper than building more efficient production, a firm will choose the former option, reaping incomes entirely unrelated to any contribution to total wealth or well-being. This results in a sub-optimal allocation of resources — money spent on lobbyists and counter-lobbyists rather than on research and development, improved business practices, employee training, or additional capital goods — which retards economic growth. Claims that a firm is rent seeking, therefore, often accompany allegations of government corruption, or the undue influence of special interests. This affects inflation since money will exchange hands without any production or value addition.

Rent seeking may be initiated by government agents, such agents soliciting bribes or other favours from the individuals or firms that stand to gain from having special economic privileges, which opens up the possibility of exploitation of the consumer. It has been shown that rent seeking by bureaucracy can push up the cost of production of public goods. It has also been shown that rent seeking by tax officials may cause loss in revenue to the national purse (Zimra).

Corruption also undermines economic development by generating distortions and inefficiency. In the private sector, corruption increases the cost of business through the price of illicit payments themselves, the management cost of negotiating with officials, and the risk of breached agreements or detection. Although some claim corruption reduces costs by cutting red tape, the availability of bribes can also induce officials to contrive new rules and delays. Openly removing costly and lengthy regulations is better than covertly allowing them to be bypassed by using bribes.

Where corruption inflates the cost of business, it also distorts the playing field, shielding firms with connections from competition and thereby sustaining inefficient firms, which fail to produce to meet demand. And the shortage of goods will result in inflation as all the money available chases after the little that’s available.

Besides pushing inflation, corruption also generates economic distortions in the public sector by diverting public investment into capital projects where bribes and kickbacks are more plentiful. Officials may increase the technical complexity of public sector projects to conceal or pave way for such dealings, thus further distorting investment. Corruption also lowers compliance with construction, environmental, or other regulations, reduces the quality of government services and infrastructure, and increases budgetary pressures on government.

University of Massachusetts researchers estimated that from 1970 to 1996, capital flight from 30 sub-Saharan countries totalled US$187bn, exceeding those nations' external debts. In the case of Africa, one of the factors for this behaviour was political instability and corruption, and the fact that new governments often confiscated previous governments’ corruptly obtained assets. This encouraged officials to stash their wealth abroad, out of reach of any future expropriation.

In contrast, corrupt administrations in Asia like Suharto’s have often taken a cut on everything (requiring bribes), but otherwise provided more conditions for development, through infrastructure investment, law and order.

These may be seen as normal practices but they are clearly holdong back our economies. People talk of sustainable development... it's not just an environmental issue. but more so a societal one. it's about time we started buildling economies sustainably or else sooner or later the oppressed will rise up and take us many years back. Because we are the business community we should be looking at continuity and growth of our businesses. Surely this must take place with growth of society as well so that we don't just have growth but more or of development as well. It's about time we used our education to build our continent, our peoples. Any economist knows that the social costs slow down the growth as they don't immediately yield the benefits but they do in the long run. Think of the fact that Kenya supplies so many of Africa's big business managers, from Uganda, Tanzania to Botswana. And think of the potential back home. this should be used for the fulfilment of our dream of a better Kenya and Africa. That should be the focus of our governments. I can't say it's easy. It's ideal to say the least. But an attempt does set us in the right direction.

Let's do this together. As one Nation!!!

5th estate said...

Business has one main goal- Profit!

Exactly the point, and where is your demarcation line in your pursuit for profit - same of your actions might make business sense to you but remember some of us would take it personal if your actions infringe on our liberties PNU or ODM driven.

Its not the vehicle stupid, it’s the intension

Anonymous said...

Businesses will always seek profit. I hate it but cant fault them for that. What we have to fault is a state that allows itself to be captured by business interests. That must stop. What we actually need is to embedd the state within the larger society. Hopefully this current dark cloud in Kenya can have a silver lining--perhaps, in the end, they will have been compelled to be more responsive to society's needs.

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