Greece can take lessons from Africa
Quite often, I have heard people describe the economic crisis in Greece as one similar to the “usual African tragedy”. Considering the HIV infection rates in Greece have increased rampantly, as have drug abuse and prostitution, it does not sit well with me whenver I get this comparison of the situation elsewhere to that of the African continent.
Other often-cited characteristics between Greece and African states include poor economic governance and consequences of structural underdevelopment.Indeed, a part of me argues it out and even pulls out the race card; but another part of me accepts that it may carry some truth, and that there are several lessons to be learnt from this crisis, especially when it comes to the International Monetary Fund.
The financial situation in Greece is quite disheartening. What was previously an exotic holiday destination turned into a poverty-stricken nation overnight! The country’s ongoing financial crisis did seem critical; however, it initially not as critical as it has eventually turned out to be.In the past, African countries such as Zimbabwe, Somalia and Sudan had defaulted in their payments to the IMF, and Greece joins in the list as the first Euro zone country. Some of the tools and mechanisms used by these African nations to pull themselves out of their crises, such as renegotiating their debts, installing strict monetary policy and fiscal consolidation may eventually be of use to the people of Greece.
Sylvester Omolo, via e-mail
Galana irrigation scheme a sad but familiar tale
There is no doubt that the languages we speak most fluently in this country include corruption and impunity. There is no remorse whatsoever from our leaders who continue to embezzle huge amounts of funds, in the name of “development projects”, even after questions and revelations by audit institutions. Development projects are not new to Kenyans and we know the repercussions of each one of these schemes, running from misuse of taxpayer’s hard earned money to bloody inter-ethnic clashes, as seen, for instance, after the government established the Galana/Kulalu Irrigation Scheme. By the end of 2017 the Galana/Kulalu Irrigation scheme is expected to gobble down Sh400 billion.Sh400 billion! And what have we got to show for the billions already spent? I will tell you.Nothing!
Like is the tradition with development schemes in Kenya, the white elephant project has been included in the current fiscal year. My question is simple: when can the line be drawn in order for the leaders to stop exploiting taxpayers?
Corruption is a norm deeply entrenched in us, and I can name numerous white elephants such as this one, with good intentions, but bad decisions. Remember the Kenya Furfural Factory established in 1977 which was to manufacture three chemicals from maize cobs? The Nyayo Bus Service? The Turkwell Gorge Multi-Purpose project…
It is my belief that the Jubilee government needs to go back to the drawing board and re-strategise on each one of its projects or else, twenty years from now we will list the Galana Kulalu Irrigation & the Class One laptop scandals down in history as some more development failures by our leaders.
Anne Wairimu, Nairobi
We spoke too soon for and in praise of police
Despite numerous complaints by “wananchi” on how our law enforcement officers are often caught sleeping on the job and not ensuring security in the country, we must give credit where it’s due and acknowledge the fact that the law enforcement officers work tirelessly to curb terrorism and fight crime in this country.
Initially, the news was flooded with headlines of “police launching investigations” on various cases of terrorism but in typical Kenyan fashion, the outcomes of these investigations were not reported. My faith in the police force is slowly being restored following the crackdowns that police have carried out this past month, beginning with the one where 400 rounds of ammunition were nabbed at a bus station in Runyenjes, disguised as cooking fat. Less than a week later, Kiambu Police Division OCPD Stephen Ng’etich led a delegation of security experts to detonate a bomb that was found behind a Toyota Platz vehicle outside Furaha Worship Center Church in the county, not to forget the two suspected terrorists who were arrested and firearms and explosives recovered in a house rented y the suspects in Garissa.
However, despite the kind words I have for the police service, media reports of a police lorry ferrying scores of illegal aliens, allegedly from Kenya’s common border with Ethiopia in the north poses a huge question mark on whether the police are committed to securing peace and stablitiy. Perhaps we should bite our tongues before giving praise and monitor what they do from the sidelines.
The rise in insecurity is attributed to the crop of religious extremists growing in the country. Several incidents in Kenya vividly highlight the influence of Al-Shabaab, which continues to recruit radicals. The threat of this rapid growth is consistency of the terror attacks. These ideological and operational terms are a dangerous trend that needs to be nipped in the bud. The implementation of the security strategies is crucial, especially modifying the deployment of security forces to hotspots the country and allocating sufficient budgetary resources to implement these security policies.
Chris Kang’ethe, via e-mail