Brace yourself for an ugly recession. Maybe the ugliest Kenya has ever seen.
Over the last two days ominous signs have emerged to confirm this. Two days ago Zain announced a massive restructuring programme that would see a whole 20% of its work force laid off. Yesterday East African Breweries followed suit and announced that they are set to send a large chunk of their staff home. They declined to talk numbers but sources say it could be as many as 200. Then the World Bank has drastically adjusted its’ growth forecast for Kenya to a paltry 2.4%. Read the article about the World bank's adjustments HERE. Some experts think that even that may be just too ambitious.
The shilling has taken a major beating in recent times confirming that remittances from the diaspora were amongst the major factors responsible for it’s resilience which saw it unaffected as the country burnt in post election violence last year. Remittances from Kenyans abroad are set to continue on their course headed south. Which also means that the construction industry (another huge beneficiary of investments from Kenyans abroad) is bound to slow down to thus causing even more Kenyans to lose jobs.
Kenyans are Africans and Africans have huge extended families most of whom are dependants. This means that the trickle down effect of all these layoffs will be enormous to say the least.
Meanwhile we continue to sustain a huge grand coalition cabinet with big salaries and perks even as they embark on a feeding frenzy of public funds through corruption. In fact even as Kenyans face starvation we are still being treated to ridiculous big politician salary headlines.
On a positive note, many people do not realize is that another word for problems is opportunities. Huge fortunes are best made during hard times rather than boom times and myriad of economic-related difficulties in Kenya are already making some Kenyans a killing. Just to quote one example. Cows are selling for a paltry Kshs 300 in Kajiado as Masai herdsmen grapple with the ravaging drought that is killing off their herds like there was no tomorrow. However if you go to your butcher the price of meat remains the same. That means that some folks love this drought and have a bank account balance to prove it.
P.S. Those following the Akinyi/Chinedu soap should read this fascinating article about yesterday’s live episode
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