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Lessons from Zimbabwe

The biggest and probably the most comical news this week was that of the state of affairs at Zimbabwe’s Treasury where their finance minister told the world that Zimbabwe only has $217 left in their bank account and quick we were at doing the month and declaring ourselves officially richer than our brothers from the south.

The comical bit of it aside, what we failed to do was ask ourselves how Zimbabwe got here. Well Zimbabwe  not long ago was one of the very advanced countries in Africa until they deliberately cut ties with the west. Robert Mugabe repeatedly said that he din’t need the west lecturing him on how to run the country.

Soon he was receiving sanctions and could trade with very few countries, donor aid fizzled out not to mention his government officials being barred from travelling to most countries of the world.

As Kenyans we have a lot to learn from this…especially as we decide who to vote for come March 4th 2013. Kenyans could find themselves in the Zimbabwean situation especially if we allow Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto to form the next government.

I have nothing personal against these two leaders, if anything I admire a lot of the policies that they talk about implementing once they form the next government but that aside, we all know we cannot talk about these two candidates’ government without the issue of the charges facing them at The Hague coming up.

I like Ruto’s policies on Agriculture and Uhuru’s ideas on making Mombasa a free port, that would bring so much wealth to this country but then again wasn’t Mugabe so popular when he took away farms from the white settlers and giving them to landless Africans?

How would it benefit us to have a duty free port on Mombasa but nobody importing goods through it?

We have often heard Uhuru and Ruto bashing foreign countries and saying how Kenya doesn’t need them and history will tell you that Mugabe was once that defiant too but today all he has is an economy that has been run down and cannot even afford to pay an ordinary man’s salary.

An Uhuru government will most definitely result in a cease of cooperation with the ICC and in turn Kenyans will be faced with sanctions that we cannot even want to imagine.

Let us not be fooled as much as we fund most of our budget on tax collected locally, that tax has a lot of international connotations. It comes from our flowers, tea and coffee exports to Europe and Asia, from tourism and from local investments by multinational companies. Taxes aside a huge portion of our healthcare is funded by the American government through USAID and other European aid agencies such as GIZ. Nearly all patients on ARVs are getting medicine because of such donors. We have several nurses working in government hospitals and are paid by USAID through CAPACITY KENYA.

When we stop cooperating with the ICC all these are bound to go away and the British government have already clearly indicated this.

Yes they are innocent until proven guilty, but will it not be wiser for us to wait until they are cleared by the ICC before we give them a chance to implement their very admirable policies on wealth creation.

The future of this beautiful country is in your hands, you can take it the Zimbabwe way or you might make it a better country by voting in one of the other seven candidates.

                                                         UKABILA NI UJINGA 
                                              Follow me on Twitter @OmindeNiMimi



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