”Alone we are weak, together we are strong – altogether we are a torrent”
Those are the words of Haiti Women in their song when they were mobilizing the Haitian masses in the streets of Port-au- Prince that put Jean Bertrand Aristide as the first democratically elected president of Haiti in 1991. That torrent is now coming together in our country today. It is hard to miss it.
Probably the only person who has been more involved in the nonstop fights to liberate Kenya from dictatorship and build a modern democratic country for all Kenyans is the man Martha Karua joined hands with in Azimio Coalition and that is Raila Odinga.
These two joining hands together with other patriotic Kenyans and political groups in Azimio make many Kenyans feel much more assured that a good government is on the way after August 9, 2022.
Martha Karua has been there at every stage of our long battles to achieve real independence and hopes for a united country that caters to the interests of all Kenyans.
Read: Next Deputy President? Martha Karua joins Azimio Coalition
By joining the Azimio team, Karua brings a lot of experience plus a very determined work record to move forward. She has the dignity of a person joining the Azimio Coalition group, not for anything, or for herself but to fight for every Kenyan so that we have a transition from the Uhuru government to a genuine transformative government that our country desperately needs.
One thing emerging about Kenya’s new powerhouse, Azimio La Umoja, is that come election day later this year the movement and coalition Azimio, that Kenyans will elect as their next government will not be an ODM party, it will not be Jubilee Party, not Wiper, not Narc, not DAP-Kenya but a whole new outfit for Kenyans and it will start with a very clean plate.
They will find many Kenyans waiting in that clean plate to develop the country. Kenyans work hard every day. Oh my God, they do. And you are lucky if you can afford food after a whole day’s work. Hard work.
That is the beauty of what is evolving politically before our very eyes. As Kenyans, we have the privilege to invent and invest in a new political outfit and platform that speaks to and for all of us.
Kenyans will not blow that opportunity up and if I was William Ruto that is what would worry me most.
For Kenyans like me living and working outside the country, I am going to be selfish. How I left the country is no longer important to me. How I plant my roots back with my sisters, my terrific nephews and nieces and our family seem like something good for me and many other Kenyans living out of their country.
Proposal Number One:
- Kenyan residents abroad residing in their current countries be allowed to invest in Kenya by bringing Industrial and other Productive investment packages to Kenya duty free into the country.
A few things here.
In the month of February alone, Kenyans outside the country remitted Shs. 36 billion to the country. That comes in all foreign currencies that the country needs to be competitive in the international market. Mine came in Canadian dollars.
But every time I get paid. There is my niece at the Kenya Medical Training College. It costs Shs. 38,000.00 per semester. I am so proud of the girl I keep lying to her that I am going to pay all the fees. Of course, I try most times.
And my sisters who are business pretty good people so they save me and fix things.
If Kenyan residents abroad are allowed to bring duty-free capital we can put three times of what came in that month. And it is direct investment and cash. These are not loans and bonds. When I send money to Kenya it is cash from the bank.
Practically. If I want to invest in a bakery plant in my country. I tell the Kenyan government that I can bring to the country the equipment duty-free and set up the business.
That is the kind of policy that would lead to an influx of capital to Kenya that we probably have never seen before. It could be hundreds of billions of capital influx into the country.
Better still this will be money from Kenyans living and working abroad. This is not money from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. There are no conditions attached to it to rip the country off.
Kenyan residents in foreign countries like me who is a permanent resident in Canada where I have lived since 1987 should be given every incentive to invest in our country. We are doing it already. Push us. Tell us what we can do and we will do it.
We have to bring capital investment in the country and Kenyans out of the country can contribute to the incredible genius already in the country.
Proof of residence or citizenship of the country you and me in a foreign country live in should be enough to provide Kenyans out here the opportunity to invest in their country.
So there that is my first policy proposal for the next government of our country. God bless you.
Adongo Ogony is a Human Rights Activist and a Writer who lives in Toronto, Canada