Skip to main content

Milking The Taxpayer; who is Outdoing Kenya?

Our politicians are the biggest problem in Kenya, and they need to change in order for Kenya to develop. Liar!Politicians are no problem. the problem is the people of Kenya, who a few end up becoming the politicians that we so much hate upon. Most of my friends and other fellow Kenyans usually tell me how they would pocket tax payers money were they given this chance. After all, the money is not theirs, but everyone's. Therefore nobody cares how you spend it. That is why our government is so corruption riddled.

Before you start celebrating and toasting to this fact, be aware that competition is very high, and very many other governments are trying to outdo each other in the race to who gets the most of the tax payers cut. From anti-corruption crusaders (United Kingdom) to stricter communist governments(We will still discuss the communists versus the capitalists in a coming soon post). Nevertheless, we still seem to be performing averagely in these sectors.According to the Global Integrity ranking, we have slipped down 4 positions in the world integrity ranking in 2008. We need to pull up our socks in this sector. Ghana slipped down 11 positions from 2006 while Ethiopia slipped down 22 positions in the same period. That is according to www.globalintegrity.org.

When it comes to other corruption stories, and stories to do with the government, Sri Lanka is a global leader in such matters. If you thought that 42 ministers were 20 too many, you haven't heard about Sri Lanka's almost 90 ministers. While you are busy complaining about Kenyan ministers becoming millionaires in a few years, the Sri Lankan's outdid them by becoming millionaires in a 4 month window. The Sri Lankan Police force is so corrupt that the Kenyan Police will look like angels in the country. If you want to be commercially successful in the country , all you need to do is bankroll the police to criminalize your competitors. It is said that this is already happening, with towns where local businessmen practice the above. All this is according to a 2005 report in lankan newspapers.

Moving on to Zimbabwe, it seems to be copying Kenya in so many ways, and outdoing us in all of them. the similarities between the 2 countries is just too much. Like Kenya, the country got independence after a guerilla warfare, only for the independence hero to lead the country in robbing of the taxpayer, just like ours did. Nevertheless, we still tout them as heroes, and history teaches us how they sacrificed a lot and went out of the way to help their countries. In Kenya, history luckily forgets to mention how the hero turned upon the real freedom fighters and continued persecuting them.Zimbabwe after independence, like Kenya, started off with a very vibrant economy that had a growth rate that was quite high. Now, like Kenya, it just remains as a reference in history books and the Zimbabweans are now are writing their way down the history books of records with their record inflation. Some of the corruption headlines in the country include Air Zimbabwe's purchase of some Chinese Aircraft that are undergoing repairs just after they were bought. Remember that story of the Kenyan Police choppers? Well, if i were you, i would avoid Air Zimbabwe like the plague. The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority(ZESA), just like the Kenya Power and Lighting Company, was a loss making monopoly. You have to work quite hard to make such a monopoly make losses (yeah, you have to work, if you don't, it will make a profit). If you are interested in how ZESA made losses, you can ask Robert Mugabe's son, who was the head until he voluntarily resigned recently. Then there is the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company, (ZUPCO) which is a public corporation that insists on driving empty buses rather than lowering fares,but the rich taxpayer will still fund the empty buses at the end of the day. I will stop been biased by favoring the Zimbabweans , and now move to the Latin American presidents.

To start us off, the Nicaraguan former president, Arnoldo Aleman, is currently serving a 20 year term, for embezzlement in his 5 year term ending 2002. His former Argentinian counterpart, Carlos Menem, who ruled till 1999 is under house arrest for smuggling arms to Ecuador and Croatia .Alfonso Portillo from Guatemala was extradited from Mexico , where he had ran away after funneling public army funds to personal and friends accounts. there are even more stories from Latin America available here.In short, it seems that unlike this part of the world, corruption is quite a risky business in Latin America.

Most of us personally envy the position that politicians hold, which gives them access to this rich persons money. the rich person, a la the tax payer never runs out of cash, no wonder how bad the economy is. So I urge you to work quite hard to get his fair share of money.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A Kenyan in Addis Ababa (Part 3) - Going Out

Merkato - "Africa's largest 'open air' market?  This post continues from Part 1 and Part 2 For shopping, Merkato is a much better option compared to Churchill Avenue. Addis residents call it the biggest open air market in Africa. Contrastingly, a more fitting description would be a collection of malls, a much larger version of Eastleigh, but a less congested and cleaner one. The malls each have stalls which deal in a variety of items,  from paintings and other artefacts, to leather goods,  to imported hardware from China. Some of those missing from Mengistu's reign of red terror. Image taken at the Red Terror museum If looking to shop for textiles,  then Shromeda is where you should be headed to. Buying textiles around the Central Business District might see you paying as much as 10 times what they cost. Note the distinction between various textiles - there’s handmade scarves and machine woven ones, same to fabrics. There’s also pure cotton fab

5 Kenyan Holiday Destinations in Turkana and Rift Valley

Much local holiday travel in Kenya involves going to the Coast. If not the Coast, most holidayers end up in Nanyuki or Naivasha. But what if you wanted to go somewhere else, what are the alternatives?  An interesting itinerary would be Lake Turkana, through the Kerio Valley and Kerio Escarpment. This is a trip doable both by public transport or as a self-drive. Given the distance, it takes at least 2 days by road - though it's manageable in one day if you have 2 drivers.  However, it would be more fun if you explored different destinations on your way up and back, which I'll highlight below.  1. Iten - Kerio Valley and Kerio Escarpment The Kerio Valley is a breathtaking valley within the Rift Valley, with the Elgeyo/ Kerio Escarpment forming one boundary of the Rift Valley and the Tugen Hills forming the other. The Tugen Hills are within the Rift Valley and one of the oldest features on the planet. The Kerio River flows in between falling over the esca

The bitter story of the downfall of Mumias Sugar company

A spoonful of sugar, but for who? ( Image: Carol Wallis on Flickr ) Have you heard the bitter story of Mumias Sugar? Regarded by many as Kenya's most successful sugar miller, Mumias Sugar Company was a disaster waiting to happen. Many pointed out how Mumias Sugar Company was a fortress in the wreck that is Kenya's sugar industry, only unaware that it was just a matter of time. As the old wise men said, "Ukiona cha mwenzako cha nyolewa, tia chako maji". The proverb means that if you see your neighbour's head getting shaved, your head will soon be undergoing the same - you'd therefore better wet your head for a smoother shave, otherwise you will be forced to undergo a painful, dry, shave. But what ails Kenya's sugar industry? The Kenya sugar industry is under legal siege. The typical Kenyan issue of coming up with laws to tackle a problem is evident here. Many of Kenya's sugar factories are owned by the government, and have slowly decline

Counterfeit alcohol hits Nairobi

Counterfeit The Famous Grouse    bought at a shop along Nairobi's Dubois road, note the packaging. Dishonest dealers in Kenya are now repackaging various alcohols and selling them off to unsuspecting buyers. The scam appears to target a broad range of popular spirits, including Smirnoff Vodka and The Famous Grouse Whiskey. Various residents have reported that the drinks are sold in shops in down-town Nairobi and cheap clubs. Popular drinks are either substituted with similar looking forms of alcohol or blended with them. Vodka is substituted with chang'aa , a local moonshine drink while brandies are used to dilute, or wholly sold off as more expensive whiskies. There is suspicion that some of the alcohol used in this drinks is diluted industrial alcohol. Industrial alcohol is normally cleared, with tricks such as food colouring and perfume deployed to have the counterfeit alcohol look like the genuine one. The syndicate appears to be recycling bottles which are colle

Kenyan products: The art of punishing your consumer

This post was written in 2011. Facts may have and indeed have changed - but the conclusion has not.  Dormans instant coffee tastes better than Sasini instant coffee. Ramtons electronics are manufactured for Kenya's Hypermart Limited, yet maintain a high product quality Peanut butter used to taste so good, but you could not afford it on the pocket money that you got back in school. A few years later, you have your first real job and your first "disposable" income. You buy your first real tub of peanut butter, probably the first in your life. You feel proud that Dominion peanut butter is manufactured in Ruiru, a town that you visited in your campus days to withdraw your pocket money, it was the nearest bank ATM to your campus.  This was before Equity bank became a mainstream bank and decided to open an ATM in your campus, and before M-Pesa meant that you