Stimulus package will change lives
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s speech yesterday was laden with hope and aspirations for the country.
The hallmark of the pronouncements was the lifting of the nearly 20-month curfew that has been in effect since March 2020.
The curfew was placed to restrict movement in the hope Covid-19 infections would be controlled.
The Covid-19 protocols have seen the country weather the pandemic tide. It is thanks to the protocols that the number of casualties has been minimised and infections checked.
However, many Kenyans were hurting thanks to the same protocols. Hotel business had been on its knees for the better part the last two years.
Those in the transport sector, especially long-distance travel, have had to close shop because the curfew meant night movement was prohibited.
Whereas not all will recover what they have lost there is hope things will get better.
The curfew seems to have excited many Kenyans but it is the 13 strategic interventions announced by the President that will lift the country from the pit.
An immediate injection of more than Sh25 billion into the economy will go a long way in rejuvenating the finances of many Kenyans steeped in debt.
Sugarcane farmers have something to smile about once Sh1.5 billion is disbursed for their payments.
Tea farmers can smile with subsidised fertiliser on the way. Livestock farmers, too, have something to talk about, as will pastoralists who no longer have to dread the vagaries of drought, as the government will purchase their animals at competitive prices. And what about cheaper animal feeds?
This is a huge relief to farmers as many had abandoned rearing chicken because it was no longer viable.
Jobs for the youth through the Kazi Mtaani programme has always elicited instant positive effects.
200,000 young men and women will benefit from the Sh10 billion programme.
That reduction of the cost of electricity will spur growth is obvious as will access to credit by those listed in the Credit Reference Bureaus.
These interventions are timely and critical in reviving the economy.
However, like past stimulus packages, corruption can wash away the intended good.
Everyone charged with implementing these measures should be above board.
Making billions from the sweat of innocent hardworking Kenyans is immoral.
It will be an exercise in futility if the interventions are diverted to other selfish causes.
With the reopening the burden of keeping the pandemic at bay is now a personal responsibility.