This month US citizens get a second windfall cheque from President George W. Bush as economic stimulus cheques arrive in their mailboxes of at least $300 (~Kshs. 19,000) per person, and more for parents and guardians with children. (The first was after he pipped Al Gore to the presidency and came through with one his main campaign promises).
But they are being rewarded and banks cushioned largely because of blind/(dumb)real estate and investments decisions – buying houses & using up credit on borrowed cash of extending sub-prime finance in anticipation of even higher housing prices.
Kenyans went though a contested election and a period of post election violence, after they did their part and voted faithfully in the presidential election. 99% had no part in the election tallying or violence that followed or the stalemate that paralyzed the economy for two months.
But instead of a stimulus, we are coping with higher food, fuel, and transport prices that are only expected to get higher in the aftermath of rising oil prices, an expanded government, infrastructure repair projects, and the downturn of agricultural produce this year.
Instead of a stimulus, the Government has flatly refused to
lower petrol taxes (which may ease some of the burden on citizens and companies), and civil servants (government workers), are being asked to contribute financially to the resettlement of displaced Kenyans – a target figure has been arbitrarily set at Kshs. 30 billion ($485 million). It remains to be seen how much will be raised from citizens who were able to fork out over 80 billion shillings ($1.3 billion) in pursuit of the Safaricom IPO (and money for which the Government still holds)
So who needs a stimulus more?