Tuesday, December 13, 2005

A point for MoU revisionists

I c quite a number of fellows here pouring cold water on the MoU story and trivializing its relevance to the historical and political context for the issues at hand. No trouble with that, except that none of you is going to give a honest response to the modern-day challenges of our nationhood without honestly wrestling with the moral and political issues in the MoU. It can't be wished away. It's as simple and difficult as that.

63 Comments:

Anonymous Wamweri said...

Thanks Jesse,

Our modern day challenges to our nationhood were spelt out by our president yesterday. He also spelt out what the way forward is (in his opinion). It just happens that he made a lot of sense to me.

What has ODM told me about our modern day challenges? All they are saying to Kenyans is that Kibaki reneged on the MoU, he didnt consult when picking a cabinet, That he is surrounded by hard liners who are manipulating him. Is this what, as a patriotic Kenyan, you would like to hear?

Wouldn't you rather hear about what problems KENYANS have and how to resolve them? ODM want snap elections, in other words they are asking Kenyans to ignore the progress that has been made, and the progress that we have been assured will be made and go back to the drawing board.

Do you honestly think that we should scrap all plans for economic recovery and start from scratch? Lets be honest, the euphoria is settling down and ODM are finding themselves standing on a very weak foundation. The two camps have two totally different foundations to claim a mandate from.

The govt is claiming successes in governance, and ODM is claiming the no vote was a mandate to them.

Its easy to see who we should throw our weight behind.

12/13/2005 10:15:00 pm  
Anonymous Jesse said...

No, my dear Wamweri -

It ain't as simple as that.

If you are looking for skeletons on both sides of the divide, you'll find them.

December 12th was an excellent piece at semantics and public relations.

A State of the Union address it might have been, but its import wasn't lost on any keen observer.

When you'll have finished lauding one side and demonizing the other, you'll realize that you still will be faced by that singular test to our nationhood: The MoU.

And it's the substance of it that, if honestly reflected upon and considered by everyone, would make so much else that's doing the rounds in the name of "moving foward" a shallow proposition indeed.

Sadly, there isn't even honour among thieves these days.

12/13/2005 10:16:00 pm  
Anonymous jikz said...

There's a serious offense under the Penal Code referred to as "obtaining goods by false pretense". Kibaki obtained our votes by false pretense. Even worse, Kibaki appended his signature to the MoU, swearing before a Commissioner of Oaths. Anyone who's dealt with Commissioners of Oaths know that giving false info or breaching any of the contents is criminal. I wish the State Law Office were independent.

To the MoU revisitionists, try harder but you'll never rewrite history!!

12/13/2005 10:16:00 pm  
Anonymous Mwangi said...

Jesse:

We all have to agree that politics is indeed a dirty game. I hate (and hate in this context is a very strong word) to trivialize the whole MoU document, however, it is just that -- a document.

I recall debating this issue with a few wazee's in the US a couple of years ago, and their argument was that the document would never hold any waters because it was just that - a document.

As we enter into partnerships e.g. marriage, business, or other... we get legal binding documents that spell out our argreements in the contract. In my opinion, you can not hold an MoU hostage as a legal binding contract. Rather, it can be, and should be (again in my opinion) treated as an agreement of co-habitation; where either party can walk out of it without remorse.

If the learned complaining signatories of the MoU document are sincere to themselves, why didn't they make it a legal binding document that they could use to hold accountable those who are claimed to have breached it? Should we therefore hold our good learned friend Lawyer Kalonzo accountable for not building a contract instead?

Borrorwed From: http://thesaurus.reference.com/search?q=Memorandum

Main Entry: Memorandum
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: note
Synonyms: announcement, chit, diary, directive, dispatch, epistle, jotting, letter, memo, message, minute, missive, notation, notice, record, reminder, tickler
Source: Roget's New Millennium™ Thesaurus, First Edition (v 1.1.1)
Copyright © 2005 by Lexico Publishing Group, LLC. All rights reserved.

Main Entry: certificate of deposit
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: government insured debt instrument
Synonyms: CD, certificate, credit Memorandum, credit slip, deposit slip, term CD, time deposit
Source: Roget's New Millennium™ Thesaurus, First Edition (v 1.1.1)
Copyright © 2005 by Lexico Publishing Group, LLC. All rights reserved.

Main Entry: commonplace book
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: memorabilia notebook
Synonyms: adversaria, diary, journal, memo book, Memorandum book
Source: Roget's New Millennium™ Thesaurus, First Edition (v 1.1.1)
Copyright © 2005 by Lexico Publishing Group, LLC. All rights reserved.

Main Entry: directive
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: command
Synonyms: charge, communication, decree, dictate, edict, injunction, mandate, memo, Memorandum, message, notice, order, ordinance, regulation, ruling, ukase, word
Source: Roget's New Millennium™ Thesaurus, First Edition (v 1.1.1)
Copyright © 2005 by Lexico Publishing Group, LLC. All rights reserved.

Main Entry: entry
Part of Speech: noun 4
Definition: listing
Synonyms: account, item, jotting, memo, Memorandum, minute, note, registration
Source: Roget's New Millennium™ Thesaurus, First Edition (v 1.1.1)
Copyright © 2005 by Lexico Publishing Group, LLC. All rights reserved.

Main Entry: letter
Part of Speech: noun 2
Definition: note
Synonyms: acknowledgment, answer, billet, cannonball, communication, Dear John, dispatch, epistle, junk mail, kite, line, mash note, memo, Memorandum, message, missive, note, poison-pen, postcard, reply, report, scratch, tab, tag, thank you
Source: Roget's New Millennium™ Thesaurus, First Edition (v 1.1.1)
Copyright © 2005 by Lexico Publishing Group, LLC. All rights reserved.

Main Entry: letter of credit
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: bank document guaranteeing customer credit
Synonyms: banker's credit, circular note, credit Memorandum, credit slip, L/C, lettre de creance
Source: Roget's New Millennium™ Thesaurus, First Edition (v 1.1.1)
Copyright © 2005 by Lexico Publishing Group, LLC. All rights reserved.

Main Entry: list
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: record
Synonyms: account, agenda, archive, arrangement, ballot, bill, brief, bulletin, calendar, canon, catalog, catalogue, census, checklist, contents, dictionary, directory, docket, draft, enumeration, file, gazette, index, inventory, invoice, lexicon, lineup, listing, loop, manifest, Memorandum, menu, outline, panel, poll, program, prospectus, register, roll, roll call, row, schedule, screed, scroll, series, slate, statistics, syllabus, table, tabulation, tally, thesaurus, ticket, timetable, vocabulary
Source: Roget's New Millennium™ Thesaurus, First Edition (v 1.1.1)
Copyright © 2005 by Lexico Publishing Group, LLC. All rights reserved.

Main Entry: message
Part of Speech: noun 1
Definition: communication
Synonyms: bulletin, cannonball, communiqué, directive, dispatch, dope, earful, epistle, hot wire, information, intelligence, intimation, letter, memo, Memorandum, missive, news, note, notice, paper, poop, report, tidings, word
Source: Roget's New Millennium™ Thesaurus, First Edition (v 1.1.1)
Copyright © 2005 by Lexico Publishing Group, LLC. All rights reserved.

Main Entry: missive
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: communication
Synonyms: cannonball, dispatch, epistle, kite, letter, line, memo, Memorandum, message, note, report, word
Source: Roget's New Millennium™ Thesaurus, First Edition (v 1.1.1)
Copyright © 2005 by Lexico Publishing Group, LLC. All rights reserved.

12/13/2005 10:17:00 pm  
Anonymous Jesse said...

Just a "document?" And you still want the rest of the country to trust you over other "documents" when you can barely honour a gentleman's agreement between yourself and other folks?

12/13/2005 10:18:00 pm  
Blogger Kenyananalyst said...

In your opinion, what reasons can you list why Kibaki's govt should fold and call for snap elections?

In my opinion, he has done a cracking job, and he is currently in the middle of a political muddle. Something that should be expected if you are the president. I dont think he should fold and ODM et al calling for snap polls are being opportunistic.

12/13/2005 11:56:00 pm  
Anonymous Wamweri said...

Sorry for mix-up on my site...the previous post was by Wamweri:
In your opinion, what reasons can you list why Kibaki's govt should fold and call for snap elections?

In my opinion, he has done a cracking job, and he is currently in the middle of a political muddle. Something that should be expected if you are the president. I dont think he should fold and ODM et al calling for snap polls are being opportunistic.

12/13/2005 11:58:00 pm  
Anonymous Jesse said...

Wamweri, what part on No didn't u understand?

12/14/2005 11:29:00 am  
Anonymous Patriot said...

my guy mwangi

it seems u have declared the covenant of the mou as just a 'document'. this might be the biggest missleading or understanding u have of the word. when r.tuju took kicc byforce he refused to honor...a document from court. before kenya can go to war the president has to sign a 'document'. when yo getting your id at the d.o's office u sign a document. and if i bring it close to home for you..... that visa u have, if it expires and immigration catch up with u. do u honestly think that your best deffense will be....' aaahh msijali hiyo ni document tu'. the documents such as the mou are legally bidding documents that are not just a document, when kibaki refused to honour it, stood by and watched kicc saga, gave out public land and forests against a court oder and you and the council of wazees telling us its just a document.......then i fear for mother kenya for what else apart from just a document do we have.......a firm hand shake????????

12/14/2005 11:30:00 am  
Anonymous Jesse said...

Thanks Jikz...thanks Patriot!!!

12/14/2005 11:31:00 am  
Anonymous Jesse said...

A document - that's what a Constitution is. The Parliamentary standing orders, the election voters card, the National ID, Driving Licences, Certificate of Titles, a Cheque or even a Education award or certificate are all documents which have no meaning if the contents are chosen to be ignored.

A marriage vow is more a valued promise than that document which we call a marriage certificate signed by a few witnesses who are not part and parcel to the day to day lifes of the couple, after the day of marriage. But a vow is a promise and on that basis a document is made. MOU was a document to keep a promise and therefore cannot become history but shall remain part of our history. Its a promise which has been broken and many more such promises made to Kenyans broken.

12/14/2005 03:45:00 pm  
Anonymous Petresh said...

Sorry for mix-up...the previous comment was by Petresh:
A document - that's what a Constitution is. The Parliamentary standing orders, the election voters card, the National ID, Driving Licences, Certificate of Titles, a Cheque or even a Education award or certificate are all documents which have no meaning if the contents are chosen to be ignored.

A marriage vow is more a valued promise than that document which we call a marriage certificate signed by a few witnesses who are not part and parcel to the day to day lifes of the couple, after the day of marriage. But a vow is a promise and on that basis a document is made. MOU was a document to keep a promise and therefore cannot become history but shall remain part of our history. Its a promise which has been broken and many more such promises made to Kenyans broken.

12/14/2005 03:50:00 pm  
Anonymous Jesse said...

Pretesh, you can say that again.

12/14/2005 08:38:00 pm  
Anonymous jizafrik said...

The MOU was NOTHING MORE than just a private agreement between groups of individul people. It has no legal implication whatsoever and is totally irellevant in the eyes of the law. and to Kenyan's?? We do not even know the full contents of the document as it is not publicly available!! SO the again is is publicly unimportant. Since it was a private agreement i do not see what the noise is all about by evenryone. Let them go to the board rooms and battle it out themselves.

And on the issue of "MOU's" i think they are better agreed upon after the election and the incumbent party fails to gain a majority in parliament. I would call it rather imprudent for someone to agree to something that your are not sure will materialise (especially how unloyal and untrustworthy ALL politicians are)!!!!

For the sake of all of us, yes the members of the MOU were duped, they should take it like men/women, deal with it and move on, and focus on the next election ( or don't they say no use crying over spilled milk??)

12/14/2005 08:39:00 pm  
Anonymous Kimanimungai said...

I dont care about the MOU and its contents but to talk of it as an agreement between indiviaduals without any legal implication would imply that the Kibaki admin so much holds the rule of law that if the MoU was a legal document, it would have been honoured!! Did Kimunya not declare the legal title deeds pieces of paper? Did Tuju not take KICC illegally? How many court orders have Kibaki himself trashed in pursuit of his narrow survival interests? How many termination of cases have the AG done to save the face of the Kibaki admin even when it was apprarent the law was violeted. Remember the case of Mbathi and the Banana campaign sectretariat? The case of Lucy and the KNT guy? The case of Sasina and the rancher in Naivasha? What is legal and lawful in Kenya is only so when it is so in the eyes of the Kibaki admin. Otherwise nothing else is legal. They will trash anything else as illegal to serve thier interests.

12/14/2005 08:39:00 pm  
Anonymous jizafrik said...

---> Kimani

Lets not mix the law with individual opinions. For all those that you have mentioned, there are laws concerning it and if the government does not uphold the law, its a really sad and sorry affair.

As for the MoU, my point is that all the hullabaloo about it is just aimless, what happens at 2007? It is not a sacred document to be guarded and pledged allegence to by any citizen!! The parties concerned should be the ones sorting out themselves since the citizens had NO INPUT WHATSOEVER!! Other MOU's will be reached and breached jusk like this one!!!

12/14/2005 08:40:00 pm  
Anonymous Mugutha said...

I have one question for you all.
What were the contents of this much talked about MOU? If indeed the contents augured well for the lot of KENYANS, why have they not been made public for us to judge whether trashing them, as we are made to believe Kibaki did, or not was the prudent or imprudent thing to do.
The truth shall set you free and i unless we know the contents, i think our arguments are all in vain.
What was the import of the document for Kenyans.
I would rather deal with the brutal facts than the alternative.
Can someone get a copy of this document that apparently is a watershed in our history?

12/14/2005 08:40:00 pm  
Anonymous Kimanimungai said...

To go back to the contents of the damn thing is useless. I wonder whether anybody is nolonger concerned with the honouring of the MOU. It will not help anybody. What we must acknowledge however is that it was an agreement,( whether legal or gentleman's agreement is immaterial) it was trashed, and this brought about the current political crisis. These are facts, like it or not. Nobody can trust you when you promise to give squatters land during referendum and after you lose, you evict them from the same land, promise water and dont deliver it, promise 500,000 jobs and dont deliver it. All this hype with increased perfomence of the economy as I have said in this forum earlier was just but a statistical gimmick. The economy though picking up, is not growing up at that rate. If you know the law of contract, you will acknowlege that an agreement is binding provided there is intention to contract, capacity to make the contract, there is an offer and consideration and finally an acceptance of the offer. Tell me which of these were not in the MoU. It is useless talking too much about the MoU but we cannot say it was trash, because it has exposed how dishonest the President was when signing it. He must have all along knew he was not going to honour it, but still signed it anyway to hoodwink others. After all, the constitution allowed him all the manouvers and he was not keen to change it either. It was too bad I had to travel home in December 2002 to give my vote to such a dishonest self centered guy. But did I have a choice, since I wanted Kanu out by all means??

12/14/2005 08:41:00 pm  
Anonymous Mwangi said...

Sorry to disagree with you on this one.

2 things come to mind...

1. I dare immigration to come and pata me... Though my visa expired many moons ago -- yes I did let it expire(but not before I got my green card :) ), and NO as a Kenyan citizen, I refuse to give up my country of birth in lieu of American citizenship -- that is why I petitioned for the inclusion of dual citizenship in the new constitution.

2. If you look at the description of a Memorandum - which I carefully borrowed from the dictionary.com, I do not believe that it quantifies it as a legal binding document. Is it a gentlemans agreement? It certainly is. But at the end of the day, my good friend, it is just that "a document".

Now, the issue about KICC. I don't know the facts, however, if there was a contract in place, then it should have been honored.

patriot wrote:

my guy mwangi

it seems u have declared the covenant of the mou as just a 'document'. this might be the biggest missleading or understanding u have of the word. when r.tuju took kicc byforce he refused to honor...a document from court. before kenya can go to war the president has to sign a 'document'. when yo getting your id at the d.o's office u sign a document. and if i bring it close to home for you..... that visa u have, if it expires and immigration catch up with u. do u honestly think that your best deffense will be....' aaahh msijali hiyo ni document tu'. the documents such as the mou are legally bidding documents that are not just a document, when kibaki refused to honour it, stood by and watched kicc saga, gave out public land and forests against a court oder and you and the council of wazees telling us its just a document.......then i fear for mother kenya for what else apart from just a document do we have.......a firm hand shake????????

12/14/2005 08:42:00 pm  
Anonymous Sepeni said...

MOU has no bases at all to felllow kenyan, it was a dirty non binding agreement that was set up to facilitate a coalition, by pre KANU blood, to get them to leadership posts through the short cut means, since they very knew the electolate could not elect them to lead kenya.

2007 election is coming soon, let ODM get ready for election, and they will be amazed what kenyans will turn them to be. Non waheshimiwa.

God bless kenya, and help us get rid of KANU(ODM)

12/14/2005 08:48:00 pm  
Anonymous Mwangi said...

Pretesh:

Mostly agreed.

However, the MoU was not between the signers of the document and Kenyans, but rather an agreement between the leaders of the respective parties. By the way, the individuals who reportedly signed the documents did not confer with their party members before signing the said documents -- As a Langata resident then, I know for a fact that Raila did not contact us and discuss the contents of the MoU. Even as I type this, I am yet to see the contents of the document...

pretesh wrote:

A document - that's what a Constitution is. The Parliamentary standing orders, the election voters card, the National ID, Driving Licences, Certificate of Titles, a Cheque or even a Education award or certificate are all documents which have no meaning if the contents are chosen to be ignored.

A marriage vow is more a valued promise than that document which we call a marriage certificate signed by a few witnesses who are not part and parcel to the day to day lifes of the couple, after the day of marriage. But a vow is a promise and on that basis a document is made. MOU was a document to keep a promise and therefore cannot become history but shall remain part of our history. Its a promise which has been broken and many more such promises made to Kenyans broken

12/14/2005 08:57:00 pm  
Anonymous jikz said...

Thank you Kimani!! I hope wamweri consults his dictionary more.

To wamweri, does it mean only your tribesmen can be loyal or trustworthy? I voted for Kibaki and Mbaru (who was rigged out for Kamanda), they were not not my tribemen. The next time my tribesman ain't on the ballot, I'll not vote. That's just fair, right?

In Kenya, tribalism is acceptable, as long as it's GEMA. Some superiority complex, I'd say. How sad!!

12/14/2005 10:33:00 pm  
Anonymous Kimanimungai said...

So I get the reason why Koigi and Kajwang could not agree on anything. If what we can call the cream of the Kenyan citizenry living abroad still cannot agree on anything so basic and cannot stop arguing over spilt milk!!! But it does not surprise me. Some of these guys in the US and elsewhere got scholarhips and other favours during the Kanu regime to go out to study at the expense of other more deserving Kenyans. Not all though. Dont misquote me. Its like admitting a guy with a C+ into a degree in law at the University of Nairobi and latter in life comparing this guy's intellectual capacity with another who got a B (Plain) but did not go to University because he could not afford to pay the parallel tuition fee. Some of these guys dont even go back home (To Kenya) leave alone voting. They are however the laudest in critisizing the Moi govt, when nobody benefited more than them. We know some of them and we can name them.

12/14/2005 10:47:00 pm  
Anonymous Mwangi said...

kimanimungai

Help me understand. Where are you going with this? I see a disconnect between your thoughts and the MoU discussion. No? Yes?

Mwangi

12/14/2005 10:48:00 pm  
Anonymous jikz said...

Just one question: How many of you were in Kenya in 2002 and actually voted? We can then sort out this MoU thing amicably.

12/14/2005 10:48:00 pm  
Anonymous Kimanimungai said...

Mwangi,

It is high time we discussed issues. Not things that will never make Kenya better at all at this time. So what if the MoU was legal or illegal? Why must we dwell on this for ever? As we give analysis, I think it is more important to focus on the future of our country than discuss nonsensical stuff like the MoU. As I said, I dont care its contents but its trashing by the President showed me a character in the leadership that I dont want to forget just now. So if I discuss the future, I can only relate the MoU and the future on the basis that I must be cautious to trust Kibaki on any of his promises. He has never honoured any. This deos not mean that I should waste all the time writting whether the document was legal or not, whether it should be honoured or not.

Where are the Wangare Mathais of this generation? Who will stand and say this was wrong whether it was done by somebody from her village or from another province? I see all the arguments here and cannot afford miss linking them with the names of the contributors - So unfortunate!! This is the truth. This is how far tribalism has eaten our society to the extent that when we are abroad we still think very narrow-mindedly. Very tribally.

12/14/2005 10:48:00 pm  
Anonymous jikz said...

@kimani
What the likes of mwangi don't understand is that we're not discussing the contents or legality of the MoU but the act of Kibaki reneging on a deal he'd signed. I wonder if they ever ask themselves what would happen to Kenya's international reputation were the government to trash all those bilateral MoUs they sign.

The truth of the matter is, Kibaki is not bankable. We all know that a President or leader who cannot command the trust of his people is as good as dead. See how Republicans and Bush get worried when opinion polls indicates that public trust in the President is waning. They'd rather have low numbers on other aspects, but not on trust. It's dangerous when people cannot take their President seriously.

I still ask, how many arguing for or against the MoU were in Kenya in 2002 and actually voted?

12/14/2005 10:49:00 pm  
Anonymous Jesse said...

Jikz, the Grand Old Party runs scared everytime President Bush is in the reds (statistically speaking); look at how he has been attempting to shore up support after Katrina / increased trouble in Iraq / the Scooter Libby affair.

2002: I was home and my vote counted, - jst that I doubt I'll give it to the same man again, even if the economy were to grow at 10%p.a in the next 2 years.

12/14/2005 11:30:00 pm  
Anonymous Kimanimungai said...

I travelled all the way to my village primary school to vote for this govt. It was a good govt for around a week when it started becoming drunk with power. I dont regret the time and money I used to go home to vote this govt because Moi is out. But I will be economical with the truth if I said I am happy with the performance of my govt this far. I am sure my laywer friend back in Kenya is also equally dissappointed. I wish I stored that SMS he sent me a day after the elections written "We have won" and showed it to him today!!!

Ask me why I am dissapointed and we already have free primary education, economy is growing at 5 percent and the tax man has surpased his targets. We will balance together with you the government's books and see if this income in the from of taxes is translating into welfare!

12/14/2005 11:30:00 pm  
Anonymous jikz said...

Good! I'm taking count. My hypothesis is that opinions on the MoU largely depend on whether one was in Kenya in 2002 and voted. Let's hope the rest respond to this question, the we can call a truce.

@Kimani, I agree with you. I don't regret my vote either, but find it awkward facing the many skeptical people I convinced to support Kibaki because he was a good choice. And believe me, opinions were truly divided on Kibaki in 2002. Let's save that for another day. The economic growth is all good but there's more to a people's development that GDP growth. Kwanza, all that talk of impressive tax performance is a smokescreen; KRA isn't collecting even 40% of taxes due. More so, KRA is collecting more than they are reporting, and we all know where the balance goes. It doesn't matter how much tax we collect if only to use it to expand the Cabinet and extend political patronage.

12/14/2005 11:31:00 pm  
Anonymous Kimanimungai said...

jikz,

When you start talking about issues like this, some of these guys go underground. There is something called tax bouyancy, optimal tax and tax productivity which the KRA never want to hear anybody talk about. You know you can collect 100 percent of your target but still you are at 10 percent to the optimal. If the optimal is 100 billion and you set yourself a target of 10 billion, then collect 12 billion, you shall have surpassed your target by 20 percent. But what is the left uncollected (88 billion ) is much more. Those who have done some research on the tax system in Kenya will tell you this is what is happening in Kenya and KRA will not entertain anybody saying the uncolleted tax is more. Out of the 10 billion collected for instance, 6 billion is wasted in non-productive uses while project funds are returned to the ministries at the end of the fiscal year because they are not used, when the projects are not completed.

12/14/2005 11:48:00 pm  
Anonymous Jesse said...

Kimani -

I agree with you entirely; guys go under when you delve deeper into issues.

Our tax regime perpetually baffles me on one score (the amounts collected notwithstanding): Just what have we done with what we've collected thus far to warrant our joy over the 4.3% growth rate?

I recall the President at one time happily harping how some Kshs. 180 billion we were collecting annually would be so much as to enable as do some essentials here and there.

Can we, honestly, justify the current levels of domestic and foreign debt as well as our levels of development given KRA's "returns" in recent times?

Can we also justify our continued reliance on "foreigners" for budgetary support each year?

Aren't we in a position - with all KRA's "billions" - to present a balanced budget here as Bill Clinton did in the US a few years ago?

12/15/2005 12:02:00 am  
Anonymous jikz said...

@kimani
I agree with you. Most people here can't sustain substantive conversations. Tax collection is the biggest hidden fraud we have in this country; the issue is so sacred they'd silence you, if you dared. We all know how easy it is to surpass targets when they are too low. That's the game KRA plays. Any analyst would tell you they're busy skimming off some mega bucks, only that it's now concentrated in a few hands. More so, nobody asks how much of that increase is actually inflation.

@jesse
In the NARC manifesto, they targetted 230 billion and said that was enough to run all the programs they promised in 2002. Of course, we know what has happened instead. Regarding public debt, I read from the CBK that the domestic debt keeps growing. Isn't this a paradox? KRA surpassing its targets but the government keeps increasing its borrowing! Who's fooling who here? These people don't want Kenya to be self-reliant because donor money perfectly covers the looting and cushions its short-term effects. It's all a game!!

12/15/2005 12:32:00 am  
Anonymous Kimanimungai said...

By the way, domestic debt doubled in the period between June and last month. What did the government do with this money when the KRA was collecting 200% of its targets?

12/15/2005 12:32:00 am  
Anonymous jikz said...

@kimani
Simple. It financed the referendum goodies!

12/15/2005 12:32:00 am  
Anonymous Jesse said...

And it will help build the next war-chest, all else held constant (e.g another scam that "never was" - a.k.a Anglo Leasing). No variables here.

12/15/2005 12:33:00 am  
Anonymous jikz said...

Jesse, the good thing is that "war-chests" no longer play an important role in Kenya's elections beyond facilitating campaign logistics. The recent referendum put that to rest. In fact, I'd speculate that the flashier the campaign, the higher the likelihood that Kenyans will reject you. I think people can finally see through the theatrics of the money-bugs.

12/15/2005 10:36:00 am  
Anonymous jizafrik said...

Of Tax and budgetary support,

Of late i have been hearing that KRA has exceeded their targets in tax revenue collection. My question is how come i never here that donor funding has been reduced by the same amount amount?? we still clamour for the choking handout for 'development programms' which hardly ever seem to benefit those that need it.

I think the government should stop this borrowing and and kimani says concentrate on optimal tax collection because i believe tax evation is quite a big problem here and this money could be enough to support our budget, not to mention trim the civil service, cut government non development spending.

12/15/2005 10:43:00 am  
Anonymous jikz said...

@jizazfrik
That explains why Kibaki is comfortable having 83 ministers. Tax poor Kenyans to the bone then lavish it on insatiable cronies. That's redistribution economics, Kenya style!!

12/15/2005 11:28:00 am  
Anonymous Jesse said...

There are those who have rationalized that such "trickle-down" economics is proper; that the guy is truly Keynesian and that Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations should have had Kenya for a case study (ha!)!

12/15/2005 01:18:00 pm  
Anonymous Kimanimungai said...

jizazfrik,

Now do you see why I find it hard to say all the good things about this govt? It is all not about the MoU, but that little trust that I am suppose to accord my govt even with my tax contributions. I honestly cannot trust this govt with my money. Instead of using it constructively, they use it for their own personal benefits. They cannot convince me for instance that they dont have the money to higher the 700 nurses they sacked last month. This is not political, but policy inconsistencies. Nobody seems to be in control as the overall manager. A PS in a Ministry can come up with a very ridiculous policy and the policy will be law because the CEO is not in control. The nurses sacking is a case for reflection here. Was universal access to health not one of Kibaki's promises in 2002? Did he not promise us a lean govt in 2002? What would you say is the govt priority here?, an expanded cabinet or provision of health? Can I blame this on the ODM? or any other rebels for that matter? I will not be honest to do that!!!!

12/15/2005 01:20:00 pm  
Anonymous Jesse said...

Uhhmn, I feel you on this Kimani. And no one could have put it any better than you already have.

12/15/2005 01:29:00 pm  
Anonymous Mugutha said...

Appreciative enquiry is something we all need to consider here ladies and gentlemen.

In as much as its worthwhile to be critical, let us not close our eyes to progress, however moderate, that has been made a number of quarters.

I start with the CDF. For the first time in the history of our country the woman and man at the village level has an opportunity to chart their course as concerns their taxes and how these are used by the government. If this isn't redistribution of wealth and empowerment of the common man, then what is?. It is a step in the right direction and although it may not be adequate to cater for the myriad problems that face our people, it is a positive step nonetheless.

Secondly, the increase in tax collection is as a result of tightening loopholes that had been used earlier to evade taxes and not an additional tax burden on the people.

Thirdly,we can't gainsay the fact that government borrowing has been carried out in a disciplined manner as to avoid crowding out the private sector.This is exemplified by the rise in credit use and personal borrowing since the interest rates, the cost of funds, are low enough to support expansion given the foregoing.There is increased importation of capital goods as companies seek to push their production frontiers further to accomodate the increase in consumption and demand for not just consumer products but capital goods as well.

Economics 101 people.

Fourth, The Agricultural Finance Corporation has been revived and our farmers can access loans for farm inputs at reasonable rates.The government has time and again intervened to support producer prices for maize farmers while KCC is powering on with renewed vigour.The obvious beneficiary in all this is the man at the village level to say nothing of the eddy effect these efforts spawn given increased disposable incomes. How else do you create wealth?

While i agree that the government needs to address the issue of a ballooning civil service given the strain this will exert on the resources available, i caution patience.

Its an iterative process that will take concerted efforts and time for us to reverse the trend that had entrenched itself over the past couple of decades.

It has been just three years since this government took over and you all know that it takes no less than four years to gain a credible degree in any reputable college. Even corporations like GE take time to perfect their operational prowess and mind you these are institutions that have aligned their goals, mission and vision. How easy do we expect it to be for a nation with 32million citizens whose varied goals and needs have to be aligned to say nothing of the turnaround that's required.

Lets be practical for crying out loud!

12/15/2005 03:56:00 pm  
Anonymous Pukks said...

Sometimes I look at our 'economist per excellence" Mwai Kibaki and wonder why someone would sack health workers - nurses and then employ fuel guzzling Ministers. Ministers who dont attend parliament. ministers who are solely employed to reply in a very disgusting manner members of the oppostion. They sit and wait for a member of the opposition to say something and then they descend on him with venom and hate. This in turn increases hatred in people. For some of us - it will be very difficult again to elect someone from Central Province. Never again.

12/15/2005 05:26:00 pm  
Anonymous MwanaKenya said...

Pukks, What does Central Province got to do with President Kibaki? Why don't you use this forum constructively? Why do you show contempt to a whole community cos of an individual? Please shun tribalism for it is evil and you are no different from the individuals you condemn.

12/15/2005 05:28:00 pm  
Anonymous Kimanimungai said...

mugutha,
I want to quickly summerise what you call development above to shed some light for you.

On the CDF, I agree with you but only partially. The management of the CDF is a whole mess. Good intentions, no policy to manage it and hence its abuse. I was in Nairobi in June involved in the last NEPAD provincial forums as a technical expert and the view of the people on the CDF is not what you may think. The management committees are biased and relations to the MPS, awarding of contracts for the CDF projects is riddled with corruption and accounting for the funds is not there and the chosing of the projects is not participatory. The patrons who are the MPs control everything. Most of this money is not helping the intended recipients. The projects are decided on by the MPs' cronies and relatives. It is one thing to create the CDFs, but another to provide guidelines on how they should be run and be efficient. But still the CDF is not a new thing. Remember there was the Distric Rural Development Fund which was scrapped and substututed with the CDF? The money from the DRDF transferred to the CDF kitty with a few increaments.

Secondly, the increase in tax collection. Your arguments are true, but can you now translate this increased money into welfare. How has it helped the ordinary man? Dont tell me Free primary education because I know where the FPE money is coming from! Remember all duty free money for lectures cars was removed, funding of public universitues reduced, (No wonder public universities are experiencing their current problems)And why is govt's domestic debt rising that fast and tax collections have increased?

On your third point. I see you have some economics 101, this makes the debate lively. True that credit expanded in the early parts of 2003.This was the only time the govt reduced its domestic borrowing to a record low in years. The result was the banking sector had excess liquidity and hence had no choice but to expand their credit to the private sector.The reason for this was that the government's demand for finance from the banks reduced and hence the treasury bill rates were very low. It became more attrative for the banks to invest more on giving loans and mortgages to the public than investing on treasury bills. But did you hear this noise when the the people who took the credit started crying that the intrest repayments were becoming very dear? Why? The government resorted to its bad habit of borrowing excessively from the domestic market. In short private credit expansion was only short lived. At the moment the lending rates are very high because the banks are investing most of their loanable funds in the treasury bill rates (Theory of Supply and demand of loanable funds). The government must therefore reduce domestic borrowing to change the trend.

On your fourth point, I agree that Kirwa is doing great in the Agriculture Ministry, I appreciate what the government has done to intervene in cushioning the producer prices by price floors, but to intimate that these efforts spawn given increased disposable incomes is not right. I dont see the connection of this with either a change in gross income or on taxes to impact on disposable income.


As much as I agree that we dont expect all reforms within one year, I should remind you that it only takes a day to appoint 83 Ministers and the same day to sack more than 1000 nurses. It only takes a day to reduce government borrowing and monitor ministers extravagant expenditures to release resources to balance the budget deficits. It only takes a day to be serious on corruption. It only takes a day to erradicate tribalism in governance and much more. If we have 1001 days, we should transform 1001 things not just a few!!!

12/15/2005 05:48:00 pm  
Anonymous jizafrik said...

Pukks i am also disgusted by your tribalistic comments. Freedom of expression is not freedom of punitive thinking! That is such retrogressive thinking that there out to be laws against people and thoughts like you!

12/15/2005 05:48:00 pm  
Anonymous jikz said...

Kimani, that's well-articulated!

@mugutha, Economics 101 can be very misleading, especially once you get into Economics 401 and above. I'd be cautious with casual interpretation.

"The trouble isn't what you know, but what you know that ain't so!"

12/15/2005 06:07:00 pm  
Anonymous jizafrik said...

--> Kimani

I must admit that i have i have learnt lots of economics from you ( more than economics 101) and i have read your last comment.

I just need one point clarified. Is it that the economic gains that are seen i.e. what i 've been told as our economy has grown by 4% and that they are expecting further growth, couldj ust be a facade and that my life has not "really" improved? Or is it that we are too busy rejoicing over small gains when we still have lots of unutilised potential??

12/15/2005 07:37:00 pm  
Anonymous jikz said...

@jizazfrik

Let me try clarifying your mind further. Prior to 2002, we had about 5 years of economic growth below 2%. In fact, the aggregate growth between 2000 and 2002 was ZERO. Our average population growth rate is about 3% p.a., so we actually regressed by -10%. Fair enough, Kibaki prides at having achieved about 6.5% growth in total, 12% at the end of this year. But our population has grown by 9% in the same period, which means we only have 3% economic expansion (1% p.a.). Now, if we add the -10% we inherited, we're richer by -7% since 1999. It could be worse if you count back. In short, we're recovering, not growing!! Even at a sustained 5% growth, we need 4 more years to return to the 1999 levels before we begin talking growth.

12/15/2005 07:40:00 pm  
Anonymous Mugutha said...

Kimani
I appreciate your enlightening feedback and well articulated counter points. We need to steer this forum to such insightful discourse and i thank you for it.

The gist of my submission is, that we are at least starting to amble along the right path and much as we haven't started walking yet, we need to take stock of where we have been as we move on to the next stage.

There is no doubt that alot needs to be corrected,sound structures, policies, performance metrics etal. We can only resolve these by soberly dissecting the issues, dealing with brutal facts, consolidating the gains and identifying solutions to redress the problems we have to tackle. I am reminded of the TQM process of PDCA (plan, do , check, act) or the six sigma DMAIC(define, measure,analyze, improve, control) and the iterative process involved therein which would be ideal for the issues that we are currently facing. The thing to note is that process improvements are incremental in nature and not revolutionary.

Now, turning my sights to the issue of disposable incomes for our farmers, my take on the economics involved is such:
1. Given the assurance the farmer has to atleast recoup his/her initial cost outlay(farm inputs, labor etc)through the aforementioned price floors, he/she will plough more acreage thereby increasing the total output and directly bumping up his gross income, ceteris paribus.
2.The AFC in conjunction with Kenya seed company can harness resources to avail quality seeds to the farmer, which will improve his/her output per acre, increase his overall output and gross income, ceteris paribus.
3. Assuming that the farmer took a loan from AFC at a concessionary and sustainable rate and further assuming that the nominal income tax rate stays the same, don't you think, then, that this farmer will enjoy a higher disposable income?
Granted, i have over simplified the matter just for the sake of illustration and i am aware that inflationary variables may negatively impact the scenario.

Over to you my brother.

12/15/2005 11:36:00 pm  
Anonymous jikz said...

Mugutha

Oversimplification is the folly of economics! Although you appreciate its limitations, you still proceed to use it as an analytical framework. A casual glance at your hypotheses leaves a lot of "what ifs", especially considering the biological nature of agriculture and the non-linear decision models of farm households. The impact of the AFC on the agricultural sector, as is, is neglible.

Regarding process improvements, as Jesse mentioned in another post, it can be revolutionary. There are processes that don't need a year to overhaul, you can do it in a day. It'd be useful to categorize the processes as short-, medium-, and long-term so that we can target them more effectively. Lumping all of them and adopting blanket gradualism is the cause of reform inertia.

12/15/2005 11:38:00 pm  
Anonymous Mugutha said...

Jikz,
I stand corrected.

However, bear in mind that unless you simplify the process with a view to minimizing ambiguity you stand the a real chance of not attaining you the goal you set out to achieve.

12/16/2005 12:08:00 am  
Anonymous Kimanimungai said...

Mugutha,jikz, jizafrik,

I thank all of you for the comments. But you now realize that if you have a deeper understanding of the economics in the governement operations, you cannot have any love for this governement left. But I reserve that for now. On the ceteris peribus of Economics and its applicability on the simplification of the models for policy making, I would think they dont belong to this generation of open market economies. But for a simple understanding of the basics, it does not hurt. Infact the current model used for policy simulations at the Treasury - The KIPPRA - Treasury Macro Model (KTMM) and the former model The Chakrabati Model are all general equilibrium models. Using partial analysis to get economic solutions has long been overtaken by the intertemporal nature of economic variables. However Mugutha, I dont have a position on your anlysis on the farmers production increament as they access more credit basically because the other day I say in the nation newspaers a picture of maize farmers demonstrating because maize was selling at 600/= and fertilizers selling at 1800/= per bag. I dont know what Kirwa is doing about the high input prices if any. The following day however, the govt released more money to be used by the KCBP to increase the maize prices to 1000 per bag, but this was still not enough to compensate for the high fertilizer prices. Ofcourse I am not concluding that one bag of fertilizer is used to produce one bag of maize. The high input prices could be a form of implicit tax on the farmers so that the govt is taxing these fertilizer imports very highly to get money to give the farmers as credit through the AFC!!! See the problem? In this case the farmers would be money illussioned to think the governent is subsidizing their production through increased access to cheaper credit when they pay for this credit in the form of higher fertilizer prices. Disposable income could be negative by the way in this case. I am starting to think this may be the case, if not, why then is the government reluctant to reduce import taxes on farm inputs including fertilizers????

12/16/2005 12:10:00 am  
Anonymous Jesse said...

Kimani -

Your very last question (last sentence) above is the one thing I've never quite grasped with the government of the day.

All in all, the farmers are happy, not realizing that the government gives with one hand only to take with the other.

And it has several ways to accomplish that, often without much fuss.

12/16/2005 12:15:00 am  
Anonymous Mugutha said...

Below is an excerpt attributed to Amos Kimunya on the subject we have been discussing.

"The MoU was an ‘if thing’, which was dependent on the relevant law being enacted. Raila and his group have made this impossible by continuously opposing any move to enact a new constitution.

He said President Kibaki had honoured the MoU to the extent the current constitution allowed him to do so, by forming a government that included all coalition partners.

"He (Raila) thought he could take power through back door via the referendum, but he failed. Now he is asking for a snap election and if that fails he will try a vote of no confidence," Kimunya said.

What strikes me is the context referred to in the words " dependent upon the relevant law being enacted" above. If this were true,( how i wish these guys would come clean and promulgate this document to sate my curiosity) then all the noise we have been treated to since NARC came to power has all been selfserving?

I hate to reopen this matter for further reflection seeing as it is that we have flogged this horse dead , but my contention still lingers. FACTS. YOU CAN'T ARGUE WITH COLD BRUTAL FACTS.
I am yet to reconcile the positions we have taken regarding this matter in the absence of the facts.
Is it any wonder that we are doomed to repeat the same mistakes over and over again given our proclivity for taking action without considering the salient facts?
This has a familiar ring to it given the just concluded plebiscite?? Is there a need to re-evaluate our decision making process and maybe go back to the basics? Questions, questions and more questions folks....
How can we take positions and pass judgement without the benefit of data? Somebody indulge me on this one. Please.

12/16/2005 12:22:00 pm  
Anonymous jikz said...

The MoU-dollar question would be: What was Amos Kimunya in 2002, apart from being a manager at Muthaiga Golf Club? Was he even close to the negotiating table? Kimunya likes yapping, I guess that's what specializing in "counting" does to you!!

12/16/2005 12:24:00 pm  
Anonymous Mugutha said...

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

@jikz
Granted. However do his sentiments merit reflection?
I guess the crux of the matter is that you and i and a majority of Kenyans have been denied the nitty gritty facts pertaining to this document while our resources and time is wasted in the name of same.
Don't we have a right to know what were the contents of this MOU?
The only way we can form informed opinions on this issue is if we arm ourselves with the salient facts.
Otherwise, and i say this tongue in cheek, we remain rumour mongers and speculators at best.
This is no way to treat intelligent people that make the majority of Kenyans.
I rest my case.

12/16/2005 12:25:00 pm  
Anonymous jikz said...

mugutha, you need not worry; the MoU died in 2003. I was in Kenya in 2002/3 so I know the contents of the MoU, but let's not belabor the point, since we aren't politicians. I rest my case.

12/16/2005 12:27:00 pm  
Anonymous Patriot said...

mugutha,jizazfrik,jiks,jimanimungai

i applaud you brothers greatly on your discussion.very enlightening. it has opened views to economics that my febble mind could not grasp. i just want to correct the "disappearing story". we dont dissappear, we just have nothing to contribute to things like economics. i for one have no idea about economics 101,401, 316 and 932, if it was anything to do with aircrafts or the good book( Bible) then am your man but from you guys i have learned part of it and will look for 101 to widen my views. and thats what we ask for in this forum great minds and ideas that will help open up for those that dont know. for sure i can now see the brain drain proffesor is talking about. and i voted for narc in 2002.

12/16/2005 12:28:00 pm  
Anonymous jikz said...

@patriot
Thanks for your kind words! We didn't mean to plunge too deep into economic jargon, like we did; it makes us no different from Kibs talking to my peasant babu about GDP growth.

Now that you mentioned aircrafts, we would appreciate your input. We have tough questions about transport, including the airline industry. How could we make Kenya a serious regional hub, not only for air transport but also for aircraft engineering and maintenance? We already have top-notch aircraft handling specialists, is this something we could nurture into a vibrant industry?

12/16/2005 12:29:00 pm  
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