During campaign season I took some times to look at the policies that were put in forward to Kenyans by the political parties. Some were almost identical and others were downright different but to some extent there was no big difference between the two main horses that were competing for the presidency during the 2017 General election.
From free Secondary Education to government accountability to mega projects and lowering cost of living. They were two peas in a pod with different tribal affiliations. Political parties in the country do not have policies or frameworks about anything and the media has always allowed them to wing it. In fact politicians in Kenya come from one political party KANU which was considered a dictator party.
It is no surprise then that both political parties passed a budget that involved a 16% VAT on petroleum products and this week both political sides agreed to settle on agreeing to pass the bill the way it was. What gets me is the fact that both political parties had their parliamentary group meetings before they had even read the full Presidential memorandum without even knowing its intricate details and chose to support the slashing on the 8% VAT on petroleum products.
However that is not the main point it is interesting that both parties have not come out to point out their policy ideas on this issues. For instance NASA’s economic policy framework is not yet known and Jubilee even though in government seems to be digging a hole day by day by increasing the size of the budget but not increasing revenue. There is no tax reform system introduced to net a wider tax base and it is just weird that we have continued to take more loans and more loans.
However the media also is to take some blame for this. due to poor coverage on business and econmy related issues we have continued to think our nation is economically okay and they are doing little to improve the situation. During an interview on Press Pass Ramah Nyang pointed out the problems faced by the business desks in the country as they are left fighting for camera and equipment to cover business matters in the country.
It is important for the media to make sure that they have given economy and business reporters are given a bigger platform and ensure that they are doing a good job in the process. The media needs to toughen up and get serious when it comes to covering policy issues.