General

Kenya’s Piling Debts: Indication for Further Economic Misery!

Sharing is Supporting Islam

On Thursday, 3 December 2020, the Daily Nation published an article entitled, Yatani: Brace yourselves for tough times.” The title was informed by the appearance of the National Treasury CS, Ukur Yatani before the National Assembly Finance and Planning Committee on Wednesday, 2 December 2020. In the sitting the CS was quoted, “I will be dishonest if I say everything is okay. We are in a state never witnessed before. The drastic reduction in revenue and underperformance of the economy is a concern.” Furthermore, he said Kenya’s public debts stands at Sh7.2 trillion which is almost 71.2% of the GDP! (Daily Nation, 3 December 2020).

The CS utterances are coming just after nearly two weeks when he dismissed Daily Nation’s article entitled, “Broke Kenya seeks Sh75bn debt suspension.” (Daily Nation, 20 November 2020). The CS termed the article unfortunate and malicious. (treasury.go.ke, 20 November 2020). It is now confirmed with the CS’s latest announcement that Kenya is facing an economic downturn that can no longer be hidden!

The disheartening part is that Kenya’s elites are engrossed on tightening economic nooses on the necks of citizens who are barely breathing. Covid-19 has not only wiped out their savings but shutdown economic activities and in turn closed their businesses. Voracious politicians are running across the nation trying to hoodwink the same desperate citizens with more lies that BBI is a panacea to Kenya’s myriads of problems! However, they look different from their pro or anti BBI positions. Both are one.

To make matters worse, on Thursday, 3 December 2020 parents and students were shocked with news that Treasury, VCs, MPs endorsed a decision to increase university tuition fees per student from Sh16,000 to Sh48,000 per year! That is just part of the increment but the total fees are almost Sh200,000 annual per student! The endorsement was after senior treasury and education officials appeared before the National Assembly Committee on Education on Wednesday, 2 December 2020.  (The Standard, 3 December 2020). In addition, Treasury will official introduce digital tax of 1.5 % for all transactions made online commencing January 2021. (The Star, 8 October 2020).

Indeed, secular capitalist regimes allege to be thriving via their professional guesswork in managing peoples’ affairs. They are masters in pacifying the masses with fake solutions that are aimed at remedying the branches and leaving the root cause untouched! The fundamental problem that bedevils Kenya is its adoption of the secular capitalist ideology and implementing its poisonous systems including but not limited to the exploitative loan and taxation based economic system. It is an evil and violent ideology that spits fire!

As long as the so-called ‘economic scholars and experts’ keep adopting the invalid secular capitalist ideology then the economy will continue to be doomed. The situation is dire not only in Kenya but even in the countries known as largest economies such as Japan has a debt of 237.54% of its GDP, USA has 106.7% of its GDP, China has 55.36% of its GDP amongst others. (World Population Review). In a nutshell the economy is under depression but Covid-19 has provided an opportunity for finger pointing instead of focusing on the real issue i.e. the failed secular capitalist economic system.

Alternatively, the Islamic ideology emanating from the Creator and Organizer of the universe, man and life, Allah, gave us a clear framework on revenue sources and expenditure items. The delimitations are captured in the Shari’ah such that the revenues are from Zakat, Kharaj, Ushr, Fai etc. As for the expenditure the Shari’ah is explicit such as the eight categories who deserve to be given Zakat but subject to the ijtihad of the Khalifah (Caliph).

In conclusion, budget making process in the soon to be reestablished Khilafah (Caliphate) on the method of Prophethood will not be based on guesswork. Hence, no issues of ‘inflated ghost projects’ as witnessed in the secular capitalist regimes that operate on perpetual budget deficit and whose revenue sources are usurious loans and taxes while expenditures are based on desires of those in power! However, in case of an emergency or crisis, the Khilafah can temporarily impose ‘levies’ on those with surplus wealth to meet the specific urgent need such as famine etc. So, it is imperative to work diligently for the upcoming Khilafah. Since it is only the Khilafah that will do away with this despicable secular capitalist ideology that is causing melancholy across the world.

Ali Nassoro

Member of the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir