The Jubilee regime and UhuRuto deserves the bash it receives from opposition and the public over numerous failed promises. Top of these are runaway corruption, increasing and unsustainable levels of unemployment, tribalism, failed primary school tablets scheme, skewed allocation of resources in regions, skewed senior government appointments, hunger and food shortages, sabotage to devolution, schemes to destroy the media and civil society and the NGOs and many other shortcomings.
But to be honest let us give credit where it is deserved. The standard gauge railway which is quite a great idea that would likely have been sabotaged in many other regimes especially the gone Kanu era under retired President Moi. Rumours has it that many business people of that era and some who still thrive today after undergoing camouflage or after oiling the current system palms, wanted Kenya Railways to fail by all means so that they can keep exploitative systems in place.
The second major Jubilee achievement which would also have been unlikely in many Kenyan regimes are the capping of lending interest rates. It failed to materialise during the Kanu under Moi era and even during the more positively viewed time of retired president Mwai Kibaki.
The SGR would not have easily happened. Those who know Kenya well know what cartels are all about. You know such an innovation that would change the way we do business was bound to hurt some businesses especially those that thrive in an unfair environment. Ours being an environment of strangling of competition and gangster casino type of economy is a tough one to even attempt to get into some businesses. Without some high level political connections getting into and operating some businesses is near impossible in Kenya.
That has been the problem of clearing and forwarding at the highly lucrative levels as well as long haul transport especially of containers. So an innovation of SGR nature would get into a lot of resistance. The same would affect bus companies doing business in routes like Nairobi to Mombasa.
Yet if you look at opportunities that will emerge with SGR you find more businesses of different varieties and absorbing more people even of small scale level businesses getting into it. The hospitality industry is one such that will do well.
On the banks, the lesser said the better. I have lived in the Western world as a student and employee. I have even worked in banks in Western world and have transacted with different parts of the world. There is a whole world of difference on the behaviour of banks in developed compared to third world. In third world it seems the aim is to exploit the public to the bone.
That has been the behaviour in Kenya. In Kenya what the banks have been doing is shylock and usury business. That is why almost every political kingpin or potentate wanted and have wanted to own a slice of a bank. It has been lucrative. But the mess they have created to many borrowers is huge. Many business people and workers on salary have been working for these banks in their life time. Why open a factory when money is in banks. No wonder, industrialisation has not happened in Kenya. The environment has been very hostile and banks have been part of the big problem. No wonder Saccos and chamas have lately become very popular in Kenya. Banks have been the problem. Forget the noise from IMF and World Bank. The nature of these Bretton Woods institutions has been to support some rogue systems especially in banking. It is no wonder the Asian tigers kept ignoring them so as to develop. China has never had time for them and you can see where she is today.
It is even known that some rogue bank managers and directors would use the bank system to rip off the public their properties. Many times their shylock nature of operations would led to stress in loan repayments and then rushed the foreclosure that ended zeroing in on the hapless loanees who would lose their property and quite often to cartels within the banks operating in collusion with rogue business people.