A few things about home

The say

A fool and his money are soon parted

and I contend here, we are country of fools and for this reason we will soon, each one of us will have to part with money, albeit not through treachery but as a result of actions some of us took a few months ago. During the run up to the plebiscite in March of this year, I did write a few posts, which, just like this one was read by few Kenyans where I told them for the love of the country let us be wise. For most people, then and now, it has been a question of us vs them, mainly antagonism between the Luos and the Kikuyus. I said then and I reiterate, when prices of commodities go up, they will not segregate and have a Luo or Kikuyu price, it will apply across the board both for the poor, middle class and rich alike. And until that day that we will wake up to the realization that it is a struggle between a few thieves, yes I call them thieves and the masses, we will continue to grow poor and poorer and the dream of industrialization will remain just that, a dream never to be reached.

The government has recently adopted a VAT bill[pdf], that was passed by our useless parliament which among its strengths is that it creates a less complex terrain for VAT compliance and determination starting with the reduction in the number of exempt goods and services from 3,000 to less than 50. Whereas this is laudable,  the net effect of this bill is to widen the tax base in effect increasing tax. The government is broke, very broke and it is huge, thanks to the drafters of our new constitution. It beats me why a country of 30 million should have 300 plus members of parliament without counting members of the senate and county assemblies, superfluous principal secretaries, several standing constitutional commissions that do nothing towards developing the economy but contribute to increasing our tax burden.

The reactions to the increased tax have been nothing but interesting. They show the level of discontent with the government and I hope it is only a matter of time before we go the Egyptian way. Am skeptical that we can rise up above our ethnic groups to say no as a nation to the political class. We are a nation of fools, that it would take help from the Olympian gods to even open just a few eyes. Everything is looked at through the prism of our person regardless of whether the person in question has swindled the public of funds. This apathy, exhibited especially so, by those Kenyans on Twitter[#KOT], a group one would think represents the middle class and the educated mass of this country is far from depressing.


What I find interesting is that the deep political undertones are not far away as can be seen in the tweets below.

And even though there is displeasure with the bill, KOT have a few items they feel should be taxed more


Before I end this post, I can almost predict that crime will go up. The police or the NSIS can take this information to the bank. There has been no significant increase in the earnings for a majority of Kenyans, unemployment is at very high levels, the value of the local currency compared to international currencies is doing weak, we are a net importer of goods and as a result, the cost of living is going beyond the roof, that is if there is still a roof while the standard of life is taking a dive head first. This situation, which, as it appears to me the government seems to ignore or pretend doesn’t exist is recipe for chaos and civil unrest.

And that friends is where I stop with this update on motherland. I will let you know if and when we decide to say no to this greed but I hope we shall not have starved or internet will have become so expensive to keep blogging.


Related articles

Board to ban milk hawking

Why Vat bill is a tax increase by parliament

Milk, book prices set to rise under new VAT regime


About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

30 thoughts on “A few things about home

  1. nannus says:

    A sad situation you are describing. I am afraid it will not change as long as people are divided (along ethnic or whatever lines). The Romans said “divide et impera” (divide and rule). The reason that there are so many government posts is obviously that it is lucrative and they have the power to generate those posts. They are parasites.
    Instead of understanding that they are all sitting in one boat and better unite, people run into the churches or mosques or to other cults. So tribalism and religion together stabilize the status quo.
    I am not sure the Egyptian way is a good one. They are back to square one after all that effort. If you start a revolution you are never sure if you can controll it. You might be lucky, but you might end up worse than before. In the meantime you risk a civil war between the different ethnic and religious groups. Everybody is going to loose.
    However, I also don’t have a good idea what to do.


    • makagutu says:

      A revolution is so unpredictable but as things currently stand, there is no way out.
      This ethnic tensions aren’t about to improve especially because the politicians benefit from it and it’s always just below the surface. I don’t know whether it will get better.


  2. exrelayman says:

    I am very saddened to read your post. There is so much division and turmoil in the world. I am in the USA, which has rapidly deteriorated into a purported democratic republic but an actual oligarchy manipulated by the wealthy. Class warfare is happening and what was once a thriving middle class is shrinking. Idiots (and those profiting from the idiocy) think that the solution to all the gun violence if for more people to have more guns (so they can defend themselves).

    Very sad, looking around at the misery in this world and not seeing a whole lot of hope. My very best wishes for your welfare in the turmoil you are describing.


    • makagutu says:

      thanks for your wishes. The rich, read thieves, continue to amass wealth and they are supported by a stupid middle class that is as tribal as their village counterparts. There is no hope here to talk about.


  3. john zande says:

    Prices sneaking up here, too… and yet the government has deemed it wise to spend close to $25 billion on new sporting venues.

    If you go Egypt ensure you have a temporary technocrat government put in place to manage for 2-3 years. No politics, just policies.


  4. emmylgant says:

    This is not good.
    Stay safe Noel.


  5. Charity says:

    Wow, I really feel bad for you guys in Kenya. Life was already difficult enough for all of you. I can’t imagine the weight of yet more taxing. Thank you for keeping us posted. I’m sorry that this is how you guys are ruled. It’s just not right!


  6. Good morning Mak! I’m sad to read this. Whenever I spend some time reading about politics, home or abroad, I feel a terrible weariness. It is like being surrounded by the wilfully blind. I try to pick myself up again with a dose of the Classics. I can only hope this works for you, too!


  7. aguywithoutboxersRoger Poladopoulos says:

    My friend, I can only offer this thought: the situation is deteriorating here in the USA also. The Congress is inept and useless as the wealthy rob the country. Good post!


  8. As you can see from the above comments, your plight is not exclusive to Kenyans. This is the unfortunate and counter-intuitive by-product of democracy – those in power are swayed by the few, while the masses suffer.


  9. dimvisionary says:

    Informative post. This sort of grounded perception of the “real world” in other countries is why I love the internet. The solutions for us, the human race, are out there and we are groping and stumbling toward them. It’s the only way I can keep going.

    Wishing you and all Kenyans the best! Cheers!


  10. niquesdawson says:

    The Bible says:-

    A fool and his money are soon parted


  11. Nick says:

    I agree, we are about to pay a stiff price for our choices. The happenings here have also left me very frustrated. These are not good times for our country. The head of state and his deputy, already facing a challenge of legitimacy and credibility at home, will be away for the next few months on trial for the worst crimes imaginable in another country. At the same time, parliament has started a dangerous game of brinksmanship with the Security Council over the ICC issue. Basic commodity prices have started rising, and may be unlikely to come down any time soon as this government seeks funds. Important institutions are quickly losing credibility in the face of their members’ greed and the resultant emerging scandals (I’m especially disappointed with the judiciary), Meanwhile, we are subjected to some distasteful sideshows by these thugs we were foolish enough to elect. Hard times ahead.

    On another topic, I remember commenting on one of your posts about the election results and the ongoing petition at that time. Well, it seems you may have been right. Have you read the Mars Group report on the audit of the results? If not I’ll link it here.



    • makagutu says:

      thanks for the link Nick, I hadn’t seen it before. There was a problem with the conduct of the election and the subsequent petition. I said it then but for most people issues are looked at from a tribal angle. When it was pointed out times will be tough, nobody heeded, it is now here. And I can tell it’s just the beginning, lets keep track, am sure it will not be long before people can’t take it anymore.
      The mps are idiots and they think by doing that they have acted in our best interests, unfortunately they are putting the rest of the country in a funny situation because of one guy! It is utter madness. There isn’t a single mp with a brain?
      How have you been? It has been quite a while since I last heard from you.


  12. Eric Alagan says:

    Pardon me if I don’t comment on the politics of another country – we have our own clowns but by some measures they’re doing better for now.


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