Why Jubilee Government should embrace for Tough Times Ahead

Friday, 3 January 2014

By Reagan Nyadimo

The recent poll by Ipsos-Synovate survey showed that the Jubilee government has performed below Kenyans expectation in a period less than a year. Insecurity, high cost of living and unemployment are some of the factors that immensely contributed to the Jubilees underscore. The past 9 months has not been a rosy ride for the government. The country faced a myriad of problems from recent strike by the KNUT, doctors, professionals to worst terror attack on our soil. The government should not therefore expect a walk over and bromances in 2014 as the country shapes up for the reality of devolution. Personal issues, wrangles within the coalition partners and increased cases of corruption are inevitable. 
 International Criminal Court
Cases at the international criminal court for both the president and his deputy was largely seen by observers and political analysts as the unifying factor for the two leaders. The duo saw themselves as the sacrificial lamps for the atrocities committed in the 2007/2008 post-election violence that left thousands dead many people displaced from their homes hence the need for togetherness. The possible clearance of the president from the cases at the international court following the withdrawal of key witnesses is likely to reincarnate the politics of “fixing Ruto” and raise suspicion amongst leaders loyal to the president and his deputy. If this issue is not handled well by the president incase his charges failed to take off it may lead to discontent amongst followers and threatening the unity of the party. 
Introduction of tax on basic commodities, increased parking fees in most counties, hiked fares to most destinations due to the night travel ban by the government, the new NSSF rates and the punitive fines introduced in many new bills have resulted in harsh economic times. What sh. 1000 could do in 2 years ago is not what it can do currently. This feeling cuts across all Kenyans regardless of their political affiliations. The demand for salary increment is therefore inevitable as people can no longer make ends meet with their salaries. The government should be prepared to see more of the Tusky’s workers strike that paralyzed operations in all the outlets of the supermarket country wide as workers demanded for better pay packs.
 Public universities continue to churn out thousands of graduates into the ever shrinking job market. Surprising enough, the government has not yet put proper policy framework to absorb theses graduates. Worse off, the government has announce a retrenchment drive that will see over 1000 workers rendered jobless and pay cut for the survivors. This leaves private sectors as the only viable option for recruitment. Idleness, jobless state and the need to survive may drive young graduates to engage in activities that are dangerous for the growth of the economy. This will threaten the security of the country and put the government that has been defeated to clip raising cases of insecurity on the spotlight once again.
The government should not forget the opposition garnered almost half of the total votes cast. This makes the opposition party very powerful regardless of their numbers in parliament. Any miss-giving in the 50-50 power sharing agreement will lead to massive walkout of the Rift valley leaders to join opposition to frustrate the government. If the calls for referendum materialized, the government should embrace for a tighter race from the CORD leaders.
The president should therefore be prepared for the events that will unfold in this New Year as they will define his future in politics and set stage for his second term in office. The country is watching Mr. President. 

Reagan Nyadimo is a fourth year student at Kenyatta University taking BSc-Statistics.

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