President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday appointed 8 experts for an Economic Recovery Council that is set to be chaired by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga. Members of this council include Hon Raila Odinga, Hon Billow Kerrow, Dr Sabdiyo Dibo Bushina, Dr Mukhisa Kituyi, Dr Martin Oduor Otieno, Eddie Njoroge, Isaac Ruto and Prof Terry Rhyan.
IMAGES COURTESY: Hon Raila Odinga.
While the country is said to be doing well financially as compared to other countries in Eastern and Southern Africa, the COVID-19 aftermath can be felt with the number of people being sent home due to job cuts or businesses shutting down.
Questions have also emerged on how this council chairperson Raila Odinga will manage the tasks despite having his hands full with his position at the Africa Union that has seen him move from meetings to meetings with people either locally or internationally.
But, while most have discredited the members of this council with some alleging that it is Raila Odinga’s shadow cabinet, one wrong theory that has been peddled around is how the council will run economic matter despite not having an economist within it.
Each individual is interlinked and is an expert either in economic matters, infrastructure, technology and or trade.
Most have also either worked in governmental task force or as former cabinet secretaries in dockets that partly touch on economy of the country.
IMAGE COURTESY: Dr Muhkisa Kituyi who is the Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
The question however is, what is this council doing that the initial task force appointed by the government to see how COVID-19 Funds are being managed and solutions to end the pandemic can’t do?
Majority of funds that the country makes or gets in form of loans ends up in corruption scandals that never get prosecuted, despite the Director of Public Prosecution’s boldness in going after the high profile cases.
The country’s poverty level keeps widening up with the gap between the rich and the poor also widening up.
Most families cannot afford three meals in a day with some now contravening the laws put in place especially in areas where there is cessation of movement with most leaving their cities to the villages because their funds cannot sustain them with no jobs or running businesses.
IMAGE COURTESY: Majority of people in the country cannot afford three meals in a day.
But, the challenge Kenya has is always coming up with good teams and committees that never get to be held accountable for sitting, planning and implementing things to the latter, in most instances, most Kenyans just have an idea that there is a team that does a certain thing but that is as far as that information goes.
We expect this council to come up with tangible strategies that can cushion small and big business during this and post the pandemic. We also expect to see how this council will advice the Treasury ministry especially now that the country is set to release the financial budget for 2020-2021.
What can be cut down, where can more money be ingested and who will be holding this council accountable and how long will this council run?
At the moment, companies that are doing well financially are using this pandemic to cut down on cost, fire people and then rehire others and pay them less while expecting them to do more. These are the kind of loopholes that we also expect this council to come up with ways that protect the Kenyan employees from employers who want to capitalize on this pandemic at the expense of people working for them.
It will also be a plus should this council find a way of this council incorporate technological key players because as it is, the economy of Kenya will need technology boost to get it up and running.
It is very evident that every person appointed in that council is a credible and authentic but it’s time they let their results attached to their names because Kenya’s economy recovering will be a good legacy for them.
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