In Summary

  • The favours ranging from subsidies, debt waivers and stimulant packages have largely been dished out in the past one year
  • Economic experts contacted by the Nation said although the goodies will eventually become an economic burden for the taxpayer, the real benefits largely remain far from reach from those they are intended.

With piles of campaign goodies valued at billions of shillings falling fast as election draws closer, questions are now emerging on whether the gifts add value to their target beneficiaries and more so, whether the intended people actually get them in the first place.

The favours ranging from subsidies, debt waivers and stimulant packages have largely been dished out in the past one year as the ruling coalition seeks to woo voters for a second term.

While there are fears that government officials may take advantage of the billions and swindle the electorate in the long run, greedy businessmen and middlemen have lined up to make a kill from the various duty free commodity imports meant to ease economic pressure for the public.

Economic experts contacted by the Nation said although the goodies will eventually become an economic burden for the taxpayer, the real benefits largely remain far from reach from those they are intended.

The experts argue that the duty waivers are designed and implemented in opaqueness that leaves huge loophole for tax evasion, overpricing and hoarding, and benefiting few individuals.

On the other hand, lack of monitoring and follow up coupled with the haste of campaign goodies has left many grants and subsidies unaccounted for over time.

Questions have already emerged over the expenditure of the Sh1 billion that was given to the miraa farmers to cushion them from losses they incurred after Kenya lost key export markets in the West.

Traders in the industry now contend that the money may have been largely misused in meetings and drafting a report while the farmers are yet to find any relief, a year after it was entrenched into the budget.

Miraa task force

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