Kenya’s Dilemma: Pay Salaries and Default on Loans or Fire all Civil Servants

6 mins read

Like him or not David Ndii, the Chairperson of President William Ruto’s Council of Economic Advisors is a very straight forward guy. Ndii states that GoK has two choices: Delay Salaries or Default GoK Loan Obligations. That is really the issue on the table right now in Kenya. Either the Ruto government stops paying salaries to civil servants and even MPs or pay them and default on the government loans. Either route leads to a disaster for the country.

You refuse to pay civil servants they are going to rebel against that and adopt a policy of “No pay no Work” and that would cripple the country completely. This could happen as early as May 1, 2023 which is Labour Day in Kenya and across the world. Workers may come to the Labour Day celebrations on Monday May 1, 2023 ready for a complete fight with the Ruto government.

Listen my nephew just got a job as a teacher and he is very excited about it. Then he tells me the TSC does not pay them for the first four months they work. They are paid the full amount after those four months. They call it boom. Then I asked him how he is going to survive as a teacher with no pay. He said he is going to live with his mother and he has a motor bike so he can go to the school and come back. In which other country do workers and teachers get treated like this?

Never mind that my nephew’s beloved motor bike that takes him to work is often broken and needs repair and the dude has no money. He says he is going to battle it until end of August when they get paid hopefully.

Alternatively Ruto pays the workers and he has no money to pay the government and the whole world knows that a default on such loans could very well lead to Kenya being declared a bankrupt state and that has conseqeunces no leader of any country ever wants to face. It leads to rebellions where citizens could hang their leaders in street poles.

The Chairperson of President William Ruto’s Council of Economic Advisors David Ndii on Saturday kicked up an online storm as he confronted questions over mounting public concerns on the state of the economy, and specifically the unprecedented delays in payment of salaries for civil servants.

Ndii has been having a hard day after he posted the government dilemma and he decided to go explain himself to the media. Ndii went ballistic on his Twitter handle, dismissing concerns over reports of delayed salaries for civil servants saying the government’s priority is paying debts and political stability.

When asked why the government appears broke, Ndii wrote: “it is reported every other day that that debt service is consuming 60 per cent plus of revenue. Liquidity crunches come with territory. When maturities bunch up, or revenue falls short, or markets shift, something has to give…salaries or default?”

As the conversations got more heated, Ndii was asked what could be the government’s solution to the economic situation.

He replied by saying: “We could also retrench, that is an option”; this means thousands of civil servants could be glaring at job losses if Ndii’s advise is acted upon by the President and, by extension, the public service.

While justifying this, Ndii added: “The first obligation of government is survival and political stability. The more dynasties forment destabilization the more we will have to spend on political stability. if push comes to shove handshake is always an option. How much do you think that will cost?”

Ndii’s remarks comes at a time National Treasury officials are in Washington, the United States, for the 2023 spring meetings of the World Bank group and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which take place in person from Monday, April 10 to Sunday, April 16.

The other really troubling aspect of this if you are President William Ruto is that you have three weeks to figure out a Peace Deal with Raila and the Azimio opposition team. You get that right then there is a small window of opportunity to keep the country going and finding solutions to avoid a complete political and economic disaster.

If the Peace Talks completely fail to take off the first mass action rally would be Monday May 1, 2023 and at that point the Azimio team could get solid support from all the unpaid Kenyan civil servants and take the battle to another level.

In fact if things go that way William Ruto may not even be able to address the traditional Labour Day rally in Nairobi.

All said the next three weeks could very well define the direction Kenya goes in the next few years. Let’s all hope for the best and prepare for the worst. At this time anything is possible.

Adongo Ogony is a Human Rights Activist and a Writer who lives in Toronto, Canada

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Previous Story

Opinion: I am for Luo Women, Whether they Come Wearing Orange or Yellow

Next Story

Government Takes Action Against Illicit Petroleum Trade Amid Security Concerns

Latest from Blog