Kenya Should stop looking down on Uganda and borrow digital development notes.
Kenya has been compared to a hard headed student who never listens in class and if questioned, turns out violent before and that would be thanks to our energetic politicians. Well, my perspective as of now would be that student who acts rich even when the family is suffering back at home. Maybe a lame comparison but would be close to that.
When government officials hold meetings to sign deals with other states and organizations, we are about doing our businesses and we only get the memo when the project is due progression. Considering today’s formality of projects on credit from the Chinese government which we are suddenly attached to the hip, the result is a few pennies added to our monthly bills thanks to hiked tax.
The fibre optic project is exactly what I am driving at. Year 2012 marked the beginning of the fibre optic project which would be ran by chinese firm Huawei after securing an exclusive 6 billion national fibre optic infrastructure and e-government projects. China had Kenya’s back at the time (or lets assume it did) with the 460 million loan to see the project through on conditions Huawei would get the contract. How clever.
Clearly, the contest against western companies; Alcatel Lucent, Nokia Siemens and Erickson was nothing but formality. The carrot and stick game started earlier than I thought and Kenya is completely in it now totally blinded. So far, our economy has been reaped a good one not to forget the increased external debt ceiling from $14 billion (Sh1.26 trillion) to $28 billion (Sh2.52 trillion), whose possible consequence would mean having our country mortgaged.
It all starts from the top. Each time deals are sealed to ‘benefit’ Kenya, the government is blind folded by enormous loan offers which Kenya (Us) will end up paying through the nose. I honestly envy the chinese government the death of Kenya, Very smart and sharp government looking to have returns on the loans tenfold.
Uganda the smart kid
Our children will suffer due to the ignorance of the previous and current regimes who really do not give a hoot about the citizens and all that matters is their stomach. Well, our neighboring country Uganda is taking development a step at a time, very keen on what comes with this glittering loans from this generous government that has plans to roll heads. Kenya might not have a clue but Uganda is well aware of their little trick.
Attaining technological advancement through reliable high-speed, cost-effective voice and data services is a song the government of China has used to get its way into African countries but Yoweri Museveni Uganda’s president is taking none of that. Back in 2012, the fibre optic proposal was first presented by Huawei technologies with a loan from Exim Bank of China , Museveni ordered for audit of the project following queries about cost and quality of work done.
Having been conducted by the Auditor-general John Muwanga, the report was delivered one month later indicating loopholes and inflated costs from the project after consulting different telecoms and reviewing of the bills of quantities which evidently showed that the project was grossly inflated. This has been the trend by the chinese government to con unsuspecting governments in the name of connecting East Africa to the rest of the world.
President Yoweri Museveni has ordered halt in the project that is turning out a scam until the company can give real figures that will cost the country. Meanwhile, Exim Bank China has approved another $9million for Huawei’s project even before rectifications are done which could be a strategy to keep the government mum.
Being part of the East African project to cover 15,600km, we are talking lump sum profits by the government from unsuspecting beneficiaries in the East of Africa. Kenya should focus on the projects nitty gritty and put the marathon deal seals on hold.