A Letter That Finance Minister will never read

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Dear Sir

In less than two months time you , Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta will stand before the parliament to read this year?s budget for the next financial year. This will be a critical budget and there is already high expectations and jitters from the different sectors of Kenyan public. Due to the economic situations in Kenya, the government must send out a clear signal that will reassure the public of economic stability to enable the business community and Kenyans in general to plan their affairs with certainty.

To start with I always find it childish for a government run by adults of sound minds to peg part of its budget on the unknown future factors such as selling a certain asset or getting so called help or aid from our exploiters a.k.a our development partners. Sales of assets are never smooth sailing in Kenya because of the nature of our politics and the bureaucratic structure of the government. Many Kenyan citizens will agree with me that the best way is to do the budget, is to based it on what we have and in case we make some sales or get any help from outside that will be good riddance. Sir I will humbly ask you to consider the following before making the budget for the next financial year:

Do the budget based on accurate income projections

Looking at last year tax collections the government should have a clear picture of what to work with. It was reported on April 9th on Daily Nation that Kenya’s revenue collections in the first nine months of the current 2008/09 financial year, came in at Sh340.8 billion ($4.24 billion), 4 per cent below its Sh354.8 billion target. So the important point here is the taxman came short of his projection s by 4 percent. So sir you should clearly consult with the taxman and know what would be his projections and out of that factor in the unexpected shortfalls. After that make the budget based on the precise and accurate income projections.

Rationalizing the size of the Central Government

Many of the 43 Ministries in the Grand Coalition Government have no developmental added value and are there only for political reasons and power game between The President and Prime Minister. Now we can sit back and argue about this matter but we have seen even ministers themselves are calling for some ministries to be merged. I know that you have no powers to do this but you can do us a favor , you should refuse to read the budget unless Kibaki and Raila do away with the useless and bogus ministries they have in the name of Grand Confusion Government.

Tell me sir why should we have:

1. Ministry of East African Community and Ministry of Foreign Affairs..May be I don?t understand what foreign affairs means but if you were to explain it to any small child he or she will tell you that anything to do with another country is Foreign affairs. Looking at Kenya critically we don?t have any meaningful foreign affairs engagement or policy and that means our minister Mr. Moses Watangula is an idle person. With Museveni busy taking over Migingo and other parts of Kenyan territory and Tanzania always feeling more like part of Southern Africa than East, the integration of East Africa Community is a pipe dream . It is high time we cut our losses and run. Do away with Ministry of East Africa, deploy the army to take Migingo back and let us move on.

2. Ministry of Nairobi Metropolitan and Development and the Ministry of Local Government. This is a big joke which we should all be ashamed of. Seriously what is the work of the Ministry of Nairobi Metropolitan? Most of the time we condemn people who rob banks on broad day light but for sure some things here in Kenya might rank higher than bank robbery. A complete rip off of the Kenyan tax payers? money.

3. Ministry of Agriculture should be enough to cover all these other nonessential ministries like Ministry of Livestock Development and Ministry of Fisheries development.

4. Ministry of Public works should be merged with Ministry of Housing. It has worked before like that and I don?t see why it should not work now

5. Ministry of Medical Services and Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation is another case where even ministers themselves are asking when will the two ministries be merged to form Ministry of Health. A complete waste of public resources and time.

6. Ministry of Youth and Sports looks fine but when you imagine that there is another ministry by the name Ministry of Gender and children Affairs and you start asking yourself what? Gender issues are very important in this country but I doubt if this ministry is doing anything about it. I wish they show me their job description and what they have achieved in the last one year. So those two ministries should be merged.

7. Ministry of Education and Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology. To me sir education is education, whether in the lower primary or universities. Looking at the universities in Kenya and how they are managed, I don?t think by any chance there is need for Ministry of Higher education. If there is anything there should be Ministry of Primary Education because I think that is where there is a lot of work and challenges for the education officials.

8. Remind me again what is the work of Ministry of state for Immigration and Registration of Persons? The only thing I have heard about this Ministry is the fact that the day Mr.Otieno Kajwang was appointed minister he was so happy that he had a full night dance with his wife in the bedroom. Then there is the nonsense of issuing 12 years old with IDs. For heaven sake in Africa most 12 year old kids are still in class four. There many reasons for that but I am not writing this letter to discuss that, Then there is ministry of state for national heritage and culture. I can bet even you might not know the work of this ministry.

9. Ministry of Special programs should be moved to the Office of President and one of those idling ministers should take care of that.

Dealing with Corrupt and most unfair debt to the current young generation

Kenya?s external debt stands at 1 trillion Shillings and much of this debt is corrupt and can?t be accounted for. The Government of Kenya has never been accountable and transparent to the Public after borrowing money in the pretense that it is doing so on behalf of the same public. Starting from Kenyatta Government, to Moi and now Kibaki. One of my lecturers back in campus joked that Kenyatta borrowed a lot money on behalf of Kenya which by then had a goodwill and was given a grace period of a certain years before repayment. Now when the time to pay back the loans came he decided to die. I understand sir that it is unfair to tell you the same joke since aforementioned dead person is your father but I hope you understand where I am coming from. In fact I was surprised recently to read the other day that Kenyatta government was given money by British government to settle out the Mau Forest issue back then.

Anyway Kenyatta exited and then came Moi and the grand funds embezzlement of high order started. The Goldenberg scandal marked the height of Kenyan dark history. Then finally Kibaki came in to perfect the art of stealing, fresh in our minds is the Anglo Leasing ghosts and the birth of our turn to eat.

What will happen if we default paying back the money? Kenyan Government should go to Hegue and declare itself bankrupt. Oh yeah I understand the implication of that, but at the end we don?t need the aid, it makes us lazy, create dependency mindset and others consider us low lifers that can?t think for themselves. You remember the Professor who suggested that Africans have low IQ? When come to doing business remember I said let work with what we have and international trade is based on the arms length transaction. It will be simple, I have goods, you have money, lets do business.

Ensuring regular audit of the Government Ministries and how they spend the allocated money.

Performance contract scores should be based on how well each Ministry utilizes the money allocated to it. There have been numerous questions raised about the validity of the current method used to rank the Ministries and its usefulness. So such question like do the rankings truly reflect the relative performance of ministries and state corporations will not arise if regular auditing is done.

Thanks in advance for not reading this letter

Yours truly

Starving hungry Kenyan Citizen

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Kennedy Kachwanya
Lead Blogger at Kachwanya.com
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Kennedy Kachwanya is a technology blogger interested in mobile phones both smart and dumb, mobile apps, mobile money, social media, startups ecosystem and digital Savannah. New media must not forget the strength of old tech.
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