When this crisis was just beginning and long before Kenyans and the international community knew who Mwai Kibaki really was, we tried to predict the outcome of this mess with a friend and we both agreed that the deadlock would not be broken by war or anything else.
It would all hinge on money.
If the Kibaki administration managed to keep the money flowing in and the bills paid, then it was going to be a long, long fight.
What we did not agree on with my friend (who is a financial expert and understands Kenya well) was just how vulnerable the Kenyan economy was. In his view it was going to take a lot to bring the folks at the Treasury down to their knees. He emphasized to me that the Kenyan economy was NOT the Zimbabwean economy. If truth be told, he has mostly been right. However a number of extraordinary factors have quickly combined to completely change the scenario.
Despite Finance Minister Amos Kimunya’s brave face and cocky statements to the effect that the economy would hardly be scathed even after the devastating post-election violence that has swept across the country, the reality is different.
We are not all financial experts so let’s keep this simple.
Imagine that Kenya is an individual who receives money but has numerous bills to pay. Survival hinges on receiving enough money to be able to pay their bills on time. Before we start looking at where the money is coming from it is important to note that this chap called Kenya hardly saves any money and in recent times has been a huge spender. That combination can be deadly.