How I would deal with economic crisis in Kenya

I submitted my memorandum on the 2023-2024 Financial Bill to Parliament and so I will not belabour my submissions here. Instead I will answer the question, how might we heal our economy differently?
How I would deal with economic crisis in Kenya
Reuben Kigame./Courtesy

There are short-term, mid-term and long-term solutions that my team and I are ready to offer. Here, allow me to share the short-term or immediate solutions we would implement given a chance:

1. Suspend all mega projects for at least two years to allow a forensic audit, appraisal and restructuring.

2. Reduce the size of government as well as government spending by removing all duplicate and ghost staff members and departments.

3. Hire only relevant professionals of character and performance record.

4. Suspend all unnecessary foreign trips and instead use virtual options, and reduce the number of delegates that go on the mandatory ones.

5. Criminalize any association with corrupt dealings in government and suspend anyone adversely mentioned with immediate effect and jail all who have stolen from the people of Kenya.

6. Seal all procurement-related shortcomings and make it treasonous to misappropriate funds.
7. Institute the use of “public phones” for all government officers and mandatory CCTV at all government offices and residence of government officials.

8. Insist on every police officer to have a body camera to monitor them while on duty.

9. Insist on declaration of wealth for everyone who serves in government including an independent audit of how they got the wealth, and avoid including in government anyone with questionable wealth acquisition.

10. Work with interpol to repatriate project funds hidden in offshore accounts.

11. Lower V.A.T. to 14% immediately and then to 12% in one year, 11% in the third year, and 10% in the fourth year. No tax should be more than 10%.

12. Renegotiate and reschedule our existing debts with regard to when payment falls due and avoid commercial loans for the country altogether.

13. Negotiate possible cancellation of debts with development partners in return for new local investment priorities such as the construction of manufacturing industries and friendly service provisions.

14. Introduce a two-shift working day Monday to Friday with the first shift starting at 6:00 A.M. and ending at 2:00 P.M. and the second shift from 2:00 P.M. to 10:00 P.M. to allow the same offices to be used for greater production as well as doubling employment opportunities as well as allowing those who wish to work two jobs to be able to do so, and encourage greater family solidarity over the weekends while developing the hospitality industry, local tourism and the expanstion of sports and the arts through increased weekend recreation.

15. Work on borrowing from Kenyans in the diaspora and paying them an interest of 10% to allow them to borrow cheaply in the countries of residence and invest in their government, while at the same time zero-rating their investment in manufacturing, agriculture, hospitality, etc by treating them as investment partners.

16. Work with the SRC to increase the salaries of low-earning Kenyans to dignify them and make it easier for them to pay taxes.

17. Reward every Kenyan who unearths graft with a cash reward.

18. Initiate movement of development to arid and semi-arid areas for job creation and equalization of development in the country.

19. Work with parliament to increase funding to counties to 45% immediately and then to 50% after two years and introduce legislation that ensures county funds are paid latest by the 5th.

20. Spread government ministries using the principle of relevance, e.g. the Ministrry of Fisheries and all aquatic matters should be spread between Kisumu and Mombasa, dairy to Nyeri or Nyandarua, Livestock to Isiolo or Kajiado, Agriculture to Uasin-Gishu or Nandi, etc.This will encourage equitable distribution of services and wealth.

21. Work with development partners to move the country into irrigation agriculture.
22. Build access roads to all food baskets of the country.

23. Cancel all HELB loans owed by students and reappraise the department with new terms as well as encourage private sector to offer education and research loans, grants and other support funding to make college education free, and move towards free primary and high school education.

24. Work with National Housing Finance and other Private Investors to make loans for the construction of houses cheaper and spread to suit applicants and strengthen private sector provision of related housing needs. Government should not do housing business.

25. Introduce a post-Covid recovery package for businesses that closed due to the pandemic given that their recovery would ensure more job opportunities for Kenyans.

26. Negotiate for mutual regional trade and investment opportunities as well as service-related jobs.

27. Work with the Churches, temples and Mosques to provide social services like rehabilitation of street children and families, feeding of the poor, caring for the elderly, etc through government funding and partnership with them.

28. Introduce internships and mentorship for students leaving college for possible absorption and recommendation for onward employment.


Reuben Kigame was a Presidential  aspirant in 2022 General elections.

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