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Sunday, 19 April 2009

Business activism: Positively transform Kenya with the 2009 Budget Campaign

As any entrepreneur knows, business in the current economic climate is becoming well-nigh impossible.

With inflation adversely impacting raw material and final product prices, instability as a result of political bickering, a tax regime that places punitive impositions on micro-enterprises as well as dwindling consumer purchasing power, Kenyan small business enterprises are now under threat.

A few weeks ago on this blog, we decried the fact that the way the government to which we pay taxes was spendthrift, positing that if it were a business, it would have collapsed ages ago.

Well the season of the National Budget has come upon us again. And this time we can make our representatives to parliament more accountable by ensuring that government expenditure provisions reflect the will of the people of Kenya.

As the accountability portal Mars Group and the Partnership for change point out:

“The National Budget as presently constituted is enmeshed in corrupt and wasteful expenditure and there is need for Kenyans to educate each other on this so that we can pressure our representatives to scrutinize the budget to identify such expenditure. Savings can be used to boost development expenditure.”

As entrepreneurs are the main drivers of the economy, we should be in the fore-front of such an initiative. For instance we can demand accountability from our parliamentary representatives on the following:

• A reduction in the size of the Government of Kenya via the enactment of a statute pursuant to section 16 of the Constitution to cap the number of Executive Cabinet Ministries; and the need for integrity criteria for public service.

• A reduction of the recurrent expenditure of Government and the setting of ceilings on recurrent expenditure.

• Demand for full accountability and transparency in the External Public Debt Register which records all debts incurred by the Government of Kenya with international multi-lateral, bi-lateral and commercial creditors.

Apart from contacting your MP, you can also write a letter to the Commissioner General of the Kenya Revenue Authority (either when making payments or not) to register your displeasure that you are fulfilling your business obligations, albeit to a government that does not manage its resources responsibly.

Or, you can join the Partnership for Change 2009 Budget campaign to mobilize public support so that the Government of Kenya becomes accountable and transparent in the borrowing and implementation of the funds it collects from the public in taxes.

This time the onus is on us entrepreneurs to make the change we wish to see in Kenya today.

Fiona Mati
Youth Interactive Portal for Enterprise (

1 comment:

Ghana Pundit said...

Why won't the government collapse if it were a business? What approach or approaches has the government in Africa adopted to make the continent attractive to the business community?

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