There is this guy I know who went and married a cute 20 year old girl as his second wife. He was 41 years old then. (I have no idea why Kenyans do crazy things and expect their leaders to be more level-headed). So when he lost his job, she promptly left him and told him to call her when he got a job or had money. Meanwhile she went for a prolonged holiday in Mombasa (financed by her boyfriends).
At least this story has a somewhat happy ending because on losing his job, the guy started his own business which quickly and miraculously thrived and he rushed to Mombasa to fetch his 20 year old beauty, snatching her away from the arms of this good-looking Arab guy who fortunately did not have much cash.
The grand coalition government “marriage” is on its’ last legs and believe it or not it all has to do with money, just like in my friend’s case. However in this particular case “the wife” is definitely NOT coming back after the separation happens.
Are my “parables” confusing you? Let me switch to some plain language that you can understand.
I have said in this blog several times that the “cement” keeping the coalition together is cash and that once the cash ran out, the coalition would be history. And because I believe what I write here, the first thing I did after the dramatic “acrobatics” of this past weekend at Kilaguni was to look for tell-tale signs that there is a cash crunch in Kenya. I quickly found plenty of interesting stuff to confirm this.
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For starters the government has recently revised its’ budget making a hefty cut of Kshs 23 billion that will terribly affect the quality of services to the public in the last 4 months of this government financial year. This is the second time in two months that the government is cutting back on expenditure. What does that tell you?
Then even more alarming, the government has requested money from the IMF (about $100million) specifically to replenish the country’s foreign exchange reserves. Read the full article on the government’s recent cutback HERE.
And as if to confirm that all is NOT well, Deputy Prime Minister and Minster for Finance Uhuru Kenyatta warned over the weekend that the government would not be able to deal with the many “problems” facing it if the coalition partners did not stop squabbling. What problems would be at the top of the mind of Uhuru Kenyatta just now?
Armed with this information, it is not surprising at all that at the first sign of rapidly dwindling resources to feed on, the grand coalition should start wobbling. If truth be told there are other factors that caused last weekend’s circus but money was and remains the main reason.
But let me digress for a minute for the sake of those who do not think that Kilaguni was a circus. Well it was!! So many ludicrous things happened. For starters President Kibaki traveled all the way to Tsavo and then gave the morning session a miss as all the squabbling was going on. Why go to Tsavo to sleep? Are there no beds in State House Nairobi? History will remember President Kibaki as the experienced carpenter who always hated sawdust to the end. In other words the president is a politician but hates political mud fights which are what most politicians thrive on. But that is a post for another day.
Still on the subject of sleeping arrangements, there was squabbling over the allocation of rooms at the luxury tourist resort with some attendees complaining bitterly why they weren’t allocated rooms similar to the Presidents’. Then there was the dramatic walk-out by Raila Odinga. The President promptly sent for him and the PM sulkily refused to come back. If that wasn’t a circus then I don’t know the meaning of the word.
So what are the other factors that have contributed to the events of this past weekend?
Politics, of course. Every politician knows that the pressure from the ordinary folk for change is soon going to be overwhelming and will force an early election (contrary to what the President thinks). This has obligated them back to the drawing boards and the chief concern is how to face the clearly angry electorate again with limited funds. You see despite the unprecedented corruption and feeding frenzy in the one year that the coalition government has existed, most are yet to recover their “investment” of the last elections.
This is one reason why Martha Karua’s handlers have advised her to resign (she is expected to resign later today from the cabinet). Her resignation now would give her immense political inertia considering the fact that President Kibaki and most of his cronies are extremely unpopular at the moment. She would be the hero of the moment in Central province and beyond and this would raise her profile and inject life into her presidential bid. Still in my view the ghosts of 2007 hang heavily on Martha. She cannot just shake off the fact that she was the main legal mind behind Mwai Kibaki’s theft of the election. Kenyans are known for their extremely short memories but this one….aiii!!!! I have my doubts as to whether they will forget in a hurry.
Gosh this post is getting too long and so let me close by answering the question in my title. What happens if the coalition falls apart? Well ODM’s position is that we will go back to the polls. On the other hand PNU’s position is that the constitution is supreme and therefore we will revert back to the constitution and the President will re-constitute a new cabinet.
So clearly there will be a crisis and then add to that the fact that most Kenyans are totally fed up with this government and you realize that there is only one answer to the question I have posed;
P.S. The gap between ordinary folk and privileged Kenyans is widening by the day. There is no better place to clearly see that than in the comments section of this very blog. On the ground ordinary Kenyans are totally and completely sick of the ODM and PNU nonsense and are united in the belief that both political parties are really the same evil thing. That is in sharp contrast to the situation here in Kumekucha where PNU-and-ODM-which-is-better debates have persisted, completely refusing to go away.
Also a must read;
Kumekucha's earlier warning in March: Titanic government fails to see icebergs ahead
What Kumekucha said about the silver lining in the coming cash crunch that is already here
Cell phones get stolen a lot. And that is why a new service that I have just heard about should make a huge difference. Dubbed Ujanja, the service uses satellite technology to track a telephone (or even a laptop) to it’s exact location. What happens is that after some software has been downloaded to your phone, the minute it is stolen an sms will be sent immediately to a cell phone of your choice (either your spouses or your friend.). The sms will contain vital information including the new sim card number that has been inserted into your stolen phone and the location of the phone. All this makes recovery very easy.
I am thinking that this is the kind of service that has the potential of ridding us of phone thieves (which is a very big business in Kenya these days). You can get more information on this interesting new service HERE.