How to ruin a developing country and wipe out its’ bright future
As you read this, Kenyans are facing the mind-boggling prospect of finding it cheaper to cook chapatis this Christmas than it will be to make some ugali to go with the traditional nyama choma. A casual look at this scenario should be good news for lovers of chapatis like this blogger. Right? WRONG!!!!
How vulgar is Taarab music?
Actually recent developments in the price of maize flour look like they may just trigger a crisis of unprecedented proportions. Already food riots in Kenya have begun in earnest.
Many readers of this popular blog might find it a little difficult to understand why the high price of maize flour can be such a serious thing. Remember the famous quote from the French revolution where the queen asked why the people cannot eat cake if there is no bread? So you may be asking what the big deal is and why people cannot eat rice, chapos, cooked bananas and a host of other foods available.
The fact is that Ugali (cooked from maize flour) is the staple food of a vast majority of Kenyans. For many reasons but one has to do with the fact that it was a low cost satisfying meal until recently. In other words what is already happening amongst poor Kenyans who for obvious reasons cannot get to this blog to leave a comment, is that they are going hungry. YES. That’s because the money they have cannot feed them and their families.
But the saddest thing of all is that the current maize crisis was created by the political class with the intention of raking in huge profits from selling maize at very high prices.
You will remember that soon after the post election skirmishes, many experts warned of a looming food crisis because the country’s bread basket in Rift Valley was the worst hit by the post-election violence. It was rather obvious that the government needed to act fast then to avert hunger. Instead there is evidence to suggest that those concerned dragged their feet on the matter deliberately with their eyes firmly fixed on a prize. The prize was super-normal profits from the sale of maize at highly inflated prices. Indeed the cabinet censured Agriculture minister William Ruto just this week over these very allegations (Read the story here).
In other words, greedy politicians in our beloved country did not care how many people may end up dieing from their actions but were instead only concerned about making a quick buck.
Names that have been linked to the maize scandal include that of Cyrus Jirongo and Ababu Namwamba (have you noticed how his silence is deafening on all this?). Word on the street (yet to be confirmed) is that Mr Jirongo is the main financier of the “maize project”
But all this is nothing new. Kenya was ruined a long time ago and to date we never succeed in getting our priorities right simply because the political class will always look for a place where they will make a buck. It is as simple as that.
Interestingly while the country is grappling with the maize crisis, acting Finance Minister John Michuki took the opportunity to announce that the government was going to spend Kshs 700 million on the Prime Minister’s office. Kenya Shell House in Nairobi will be purchased for this purpose. While sources say that this project is being financed by a foreign government, clearly our priorities will always be misplaced.
Kenya was ruined a long long time ago.
By the way this is NOT about ODM or PNU—I am of course well aware that I am wasting my breath saying this since ODM and PNU hawks are all over this blog.
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