We have become a walking nation, literally! The country has been hit by a transport crisis following the crackdown on unroadworthy vehicles by the Police. All the major cities from Nairobi to Mombasa and Kisumu are continuing to lose millions in the ongoing crackdown as people waste hours walking to work while others keep away completely.
Yet one wonders why we are having this crisis in the first place. As has already been noted on this blog before; the problem with this country is the inability to build strong institutions. What we have instead are strongmen who run whatever sectors they’re in charge of with an iron fist – enforcing unpopular rules and streamlining the sector – only for everything to collapse when they vacate office.
The ongoing crackdown on faulty vehicles and unprofessional drivers and touts has been dubbed Michukirules, after the late Minister, John Michuki, who fast brought sanity in the sector as transport minister only for the gains to be reversed shortly after he left the ministry.
We can deductively reason that the sectors or ministries which appear to be underperforming is because they’ve not had a strong man; suffice to conclude that, this efforts will be reversed the moment CS Matiangi leaves office the same way they did when Michuki left.
At the center of this phenomenon is the lack of planning or the primitive planning the government has been engaging in since the advent of multiparty politics. Every activity the government undertakes appears to be geared towards ensuring the head of the Executive recaptures his seat in the next elections thereby undermining any serious planning beyond the five or 10 years.
Worse still is that the next government that takes over after the 10years comes with its own plans; completely abandoning efforts by the previous government leading to unnecessary waste in the form of incomplete projects that only served to drain taxpayers.
Only President Kibaki attempted to break this cycle with the Vision 2030 economic blueprint that went beyond the elections. Unfortunately the plan has since been discarded with the government of the day cherry-picking areas it wants to implement and even then, projects picked like the SGR are inflated from the original plan and routes to satisfy individual interests rather than the country.
It doesn’t help that our Members of Parliament who could’ve helped reign in on this absurdity are themselves operating within the same mentality. There’s little proof our MPs take the budget making process seriously – either that or they need further training on how to interrogate the process. Otherwise why would the passage of the Finance Bill 2018 become so dramatic?