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Vol 42 No 18

Published 14th September 2001


Kenya

Moi versus the economy

Galloping inflation, sinking export prices and corruption are bigger problems for the President than the opposition

President Daniel arap Moi has run out of promises. The Board of the International Monetary Fund refuses to unblock further loans - in particular, a hoped for quick credit of US$125 million. This is suspended until Moi's ruling Kenya African National Union steers an effective anti-corruption bill through parliament, and sells off the state telecommunications company and Kenya Commercial Bank. Opposition parliamentarians threw out an anti-corruption bill last month and a revised bill can hardly be passed before early next year. Any IMF help will come too late to rescue the economy before the elections that are scheduled for December 2002. The economy now hangs on tea. Coffee and tourism, once big foreign-exchange earners, lose millions of dollars to official rake-offs. State-owned companies are mired in bureaucracy and corruption. Business is pessimistic, domestic debt is swelling, public services are among the world's worst and officials are among the most corrupt. KANU has chosen political patronage and corruption scams over effective economic reform, in a desperate bid to buy next year's election, as it did those of 1992 and 1997.

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